24th Jan 2017 6:30pm-8:00pm
Edward Street Campus Lecture Theatre
Nadje Al-Ali (SOAS, University of London)
How to talk about gender based and sexual violence in the Middle East? Dilemmas for
transnational feminist solidarity
My paper attempts to intervene in feminist debates about how to approach and analyse
sexual and wider gender-based violence in Iraq specifically and the Middle East more
generally. Recognizing the significance of positionality, I argue against dichotomous positions
and for the need to look at both macro structural configurations of power pertaining to
imperialism, neo-liberalism and globalization on the one hand, and localised expressions of
patriarchy, religious interpretations and practises and cultural norms on the other hand.
Finally, my paper will reflect on the question of what a transnational feminist solidarity might
look like in relation to sexual violence by ISIS.
Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies in the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of
Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests
revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East;
transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction. She has
worked in Bosnia, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan as well as the UK and the US.
Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009,
University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle
East: Transnational Perspectives (co-edited with Nicola Pratt; (Zed Books, 2009); Iraqi
Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to
Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the
Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The
American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal
articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis:
Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press).