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Hammond, Marle (2020) 'Al-Khansa': Representing the First-Person Feminine.' In: Seigneurie, Ken and Chism, Christine, (eds.), A Companion to World Literature, Volume 2: 601 CE to 1450. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley, pp. 1059-1071.

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The seventh‐century Arabic poet al‐Khansaʾ (al‐Khansāʾ) composed lamentations that simultaneously celebrate patriarchal values and endow the female voice with a formidable subjective agency. This chapter contemplates the construction of such an elegiac voice through the analytical lens of grammatical gender and asks what the specificities of Arabic grammar and al‐Khansaʾ's skillful manipulation of its codes can contribute to universal notions of women's writing. It concludes that the complex rules of gender agreement that characterize Arabic, far from entrapping women in a stifling binary system, enable women to choose between marking their voices as decidedly feminine and leaving them conspicuously unmarked.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISBN: 9781118993187
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 10:27

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