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Feminism scholar lectures at AUS
Professor Margot Badran, a renowned historian and specialist in women's studies, gave a thrilling lecture entitled "Women's Autobiography from the 1919 Revolution to the 2011 Revolution in Egypt" yesterday, Monday, October 31, at American University of Sharjah (AUS).
She is a Senior Fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Ibn Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on the Middle East and Islamic world from the late 19th century to 21st century.
"Professor Bardan is an accomplished scholar with a long list of achievements. She has taught and lectured before academic and public audiences in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. She has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships. She serves on several editorial and advisory boards and she has only five degrees," said Dr. Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor, as he welcomed her to AUS.
In her lecture, Bardan compared the 1919 Egyptian revolution against British colonial occupation to the 2011 revolution against Egyptian dictatorship. "When you look at these two revolutions, you realize that there is a close link between gender, feminism and revolution," said Bardan.
"The women's revolution in 1919 did not create Egypt's feminism but it politicized it. And when you look at the 2011 revolution, you realize that feminism in Egypt is built-in in their modern nation re-building."
According to Bardan, women who participated in both revolutions considered themselves as Egyptians first and foremost. Their national identity was very important. "You could ask someone, 'What is your religion?' and they would look at you and say, 'Egyptian,'" she said. "The feminist movement in both cases was also very inclusive. Women worked with other women regardless of their different background, ethnicity and religion."
Her lecture was part of the third conference organized by the Women's Autobiography in Islamic Societies Network (WAIIS) themed "Women's Autobiography in Islamic Societies: Representation and Identity." The conference was held at AUS October 29-31, 2011 and was sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK.