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Classes of Ladies of Cloistered SpacesWriting Feminist History through Biography in Fin-de-siecle Eypt$
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Marilyn Booth

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694860

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694860.001.0001

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Writerly Pursuits: A Compiler’s Archive

Writerly Pursuits: A Compiler’s Archive

Chapter:
(p.124) IV Writerly Pursuits: A Compiler’s Archive
Source:
Classes of Ladies of Cloistered Spaces
Author(s):

Marilyn Booth

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694860.003.0004

This chapter discusses the biographical dictionary’s indebtedness to a long tradition in Arabic letters of prosopography and exemplarity, and specifically how Fawwaz draws on both the form and the content of this tradition and yet also draws away from it in giving emphasis to particular subjects and pursuits, highlighting women’s ambitions and achievements and minimizing their embeddedness in ancestry. It traces her use of well-known premodern sources. It considers Fawwaz’s own explication of method in her preface and the extent to which 19th-century women could even access sources for history writing, an issue raised by what might seem the puzzling absence of certain leading premodern biographical dictionaries that feature female subjects.

Keywords:   Prosopography, Adab, Ibn Battuta, Ibn al-Athir, Libraries, Abu l-Faraj al-Isbahani, Ibn Khallikan, Khayzuran, Zubayda bt. Ja’far, Women Worthies

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