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Gendered voice in Palestinian Women Bloggers' narratives: A postcolonial feminist approach to women writing in occupied spaces

Olwan, Samiha (2018) Gendered voice in Palestinian Women Bloggers' narratives: A postcolonial feminist approach to women writing in occupied spaces. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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In the last two decades, the online space has afforded Palestinians a significant platform for self-representation. The space has allowed for narratives of national identity to emerge, where memories can be evoked, home can be reconstructed and imagined, and an everyday narrative of the conflict is made available to local and global interlocutors. This thesis examines the online narratives of Palestinian women bloggers who are writing from positions of anticolonial struggle, and explores the ways in which gender is written into and represented by their narratives. Importantly, the blogs analysed in this thesis are treated as forms of online life writing. Conceiving of women’s online narratives in this way means approaching the question of gender by engaging with the grounded experiences of Palestinian women whose personal accounts provide not only the opportunity to write witness narratives, but also to negotiate, disrupt and subvert stories of the nation. From a postcolonial feminist perspective, and drawing extensively on the work of critical scholars, the work considers how these women’s writing enables them to negotiate their gendered identities and their feminist concerns in a political context where questions of the nation are prioritised, and where women have typically been assigned a primarily symbolic significance in bearing the nation biologically and culturally. This negotiation manifests itself in the ways in which these women write alternative ways of narrating and imagining the nation, as the bloggers question their previously assigned roles in the national struggle. In this way, the thesis also reveals the women’s imaginative and creative role in the larger dynamic struggle between politics and narrative, as they stand at the intersection of colonial, orientalist, nationalist and gendered constructions of the nation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Surma, Anne and Grehan, Helena
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