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Collymore, Frank A.. Selected Poems. Bridgetown, Barbados. 1971. Coles Printery Ltd. 67 pages. paperback.

selected poems frank collymore coles printery 1971FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

All of these poems, with two exceptions, were written in the 1940s. Frank Appleton Collymore was born on January 7, 1893 at Woodville Cottage, Chelsea Road, where he lived all his life. He entered Combermere School for boys in 1903 and remained there as a student until 1910 when he was invited to join the staff . He retired from Combermere officially in 1958, having risen to the position of Deputy Headmaster. After retirement he often returned to teach until 1963. Frank Collymore was married twice and was the father of four daughters. He died at the age of eighty-seven on July 17, 1980. It is for his work as a poet and an editor that Frank Collymore is best known and especially for his significant contribution to the development of West Indian Literature as the editor of BIM Magazine. BIM was first published in 1942 with E.L. Jimmy Cozier as editor. Frank Collymore became joint editor with W. Therold Barnes from Issue no. 3 when Jimmy Cozier left for Trinidad. He remained editor until 1975, producing the magazine twice a year often single-handly even in difficult times. With BIM he provided an outlet for aspiring Caribbean writers. Contributions for this magazine were received from across the region and some material from the magazine was used by the BBC Overseas Services in a programme entitled ‘Caribbean Voices’. Collymore became known as a friend and inspiration to writers both at home and abroad. ‘ . . . Frank Collymore’s influence on West Indian literature was not only felt through BIM, but as a teacher, his pupils included George Lamming, Austin (Tom) Clarke and the late Timothy Callendar. He is remembered by some students for allowing free expression in drawing, free flow of thought, for encouraging them to write on topics drawn from their surroundings, and for inviting special speakers for sixth formers, whom he did not teach. Among these speakers were Bruce Hamilton and Edgar Mittleholzer . . . ‘

 

Collymore FrankFrank Appleton Collymore (7 January 1893 - 17 July 1980) was a famous Barbadian literary editor, author, poet, stage performer and painter. His nickname was ‘Barbadian Man of the Arts’. He also taught for 50 years at Combermere School, where he sought out and encouraged prospective writers in his classes, notably George Lamming. Collymore was born at Woodville Cottage, Chelsea Road, Saint Michael, Barbados (where he lived all his life). Aside from being a student at Combermere School (from 1903 until 1910), he was also one of its staff members until his retirement in 1958, up to which point he was its Deputy Headmaster. After this, he often returned to teach until 1963. On the stage, he became a member of the ‘Bridgetown Players’, which began in 1942. As an artist, he made many drawings and paintings to illustrate his own writings. He called them ‘Collybeasts’ or ‘Collycreatures’. In 1942, he began the famous Caribbean literary magazine BIM (originally published four times a year), for which he is most well-known, and was also its editor until 1975. John T. Gilmore has written of Collymore: ‘As a lover of literature, he was also a dedicated and selfless encourager of the work of others, lending books to aspiring writers from their schooldays onwards, publishing their early work in Bim, the literary magazine he edited for more than fifty issues from the 1940s to the 1970s, and helping them to find other markets, especially through the relationship he established with Henry Swanzy, producer of the influential BBC radio programme Caribbean Voices.’ Three literary awards have been named after him.

 


 

 

 

Verlaine, Paul. Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Selection of His Verse. University Park. 2019. Penn State University Press. 9780271084930. Translated by Samuel N. Rosenberg. Edited by Nicolas Valazza. 5.5 x 8.5. 408 pages. hardcover. 

 

9780271084930FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

“This anthology gives a fuller picture of Verlaine’s poetry than many translations have offered in the past by providing some of his most famous verse but also some political and scatological works for which he is less known. The translations capture and reproduce Verlaine’s variety of registers and style in lively renderings that are faithful to the spirit of the buoyant original verse.” —Joseph Acquisto, author of The Fall Out of Redemption: Writing and Thinking Beyond Salvation in Baudelaire, Cioran, Fondane, Agamben, and Nancy Crowned “Prince of Poets” in his later years, Paul Verlaine stands out among the iconoclastic founders of French modernist verse. This diglot anthology offers the most comprehensive selection of Verlaine’s poetry available in English translation. Verlaine’s famous works are presented here alongside poems never previously translated into English, including neglected political works and prison pieces only recently brought to light, which reveal social, homoerotic, and even pornographic inspirations. The poems are organized not by collections and date of publication but by themes and time of composition. This innovation, along with Nicolas Valazza’s extensive supporting materials, will help the curious student or scholar explore the master poet’s work in the context of his troubled life: from the beginning of his literary career among the Parnassians to his affair with Rimbaud and the end of his marriage, his time in prison, and his bohemian lifestyle up to his death in 1896. Verlaine, the poet of ambiguity, has always been a challenge to translate. Samuel Rosenberg expertly crafts language that privileges the musicality of Verlaine’s verse while respecting each poem’s meaning and pace. Featuring 192 poems in French with English translations, this collection will appeal to scholars and poetry enthusiasts alike.

 

Verlaine PaulPAUL VERLAINE was born in Metz, France in 1844, and died in 1896. He began to publish poems and to make a name for himself in Paris in his early twenties. In 1870, he married his child-bride Mathilde, whose very respectable family he time and again outraged with his drunken sprees and outbursts of violence. Everything came to smash in 1871 when Verlaine invited Arthur Rimbaud to Paris. The two poets became lovers and wandered through France, England, and Belgium until 1873. In Brussels, in July of that year, Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud in the left wrist. Although the younger poet did not wish to press charges, the law took its course and Verlaine was sentenced to two years' hard labor. Penniless, Rimbaud walked home to France and finished A Season in Hell. In prison, Verlaine oversaw the proof-reading and publication of Romances sans paroles (1874), re-discovered his Catholic faith, and wrote the devotional poems collected in Sagesse (1880). After his release, judicially separated from his wife and permanently estranged from his only child, Verlaine lived by various stints of farming and teaching until, upon the death of his tirelessly indulgent mother in 1886, he drifted permanently into chronic illness, alcoholism and destitution. Yet all the while, he continued to write and to publish poetry, often to great acclaim. In 1893, he was invited to Oxford to lecture on Modern French Poetry. In 1894, the writers of Paris elected him Prince of Poets. He died in that city two years later, a few months short of his 52nd birthday.

 

Samuel N. Rosenberg is Professor Emeritus of French and Italian at Indiana University. He has edited and translated numerous works, including Robert the Devil, also published by Penn State University Press.

 

Nicolas Valazza is Associate Professor of French at Indiana University. His research focuses on nineteenth-century literature.

 


 

 

 

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun: A Drama in Three Acts. New York. 1959. Random House. Photograph of Sidney Poitier mounted on front board. 142 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Stan Phillips and Mel Williamson. 

 

raisin in the sun random house 1959FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

A RAISIN IN THE SUN is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem ‘Harlem’ (also known as ‘A Dream Deferred‘) by Langston Hughes. The story is based upon a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. This groundbreaking play starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeill, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands in the Broadway production which opened in 1959. Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration. Winner of the NY Drama Critic's Award as Best Play of the Year, it has been hailed as a ‘pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre.’ by Newsweek and ‘a milestone in the American Theatre.’ by Ebony. ‘A beautiful, lovable play. It is affectionately human, funny and touching. . . . A work of theatrical magic in which the usual barrier between audience and stage disappears.’ - John Chapman, New York News. ‘An honest, intelligible, and moving experience.’ - Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune. ‘Miss Hansberry has etched her characters with understanding, and told her story with dramatic impact. She has a keen sense of humor, an ear for accurate speech and compassion for people.’ - Robert Coleman, New York Mirror. ‘A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity.’ - Brooks Atkinson, New York Times. ‘It is honest drama, catching up real people. . . . It will make you proud of human beings.’ – Frank Aston, New York World-Telegram & Sun. ‘A wonderfully emotional evening.’ - John McClain, New York Journal American.

 

Hansberry LorraineLorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black'. She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry's family had struggled against segregation, challenging a restrictive covenant and eventually provoking the Supreme Court case Hansberry v. Lee. The title of the play was taken from the poem 'Harlem' by Langston Hughes: 'What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?' After she moved to New York City, Hansberry worked at the Pan-Africanist newspaper Freedom, where she dealt with intellectuals such as Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. Much of her work during this time concerned the African struggle for liberation and their impact on the world. Hansberry has been identified as a lesbian, and sexual freedom is an important topic in several of her works. She died of cancer at the age of 34.

 


 

 

 

Broe, Dennis . Maverick. Detroit. 2015. Wayne State University Press. 9780814339169. TV Milestones Series. 5 x 7. 10 illustrations. 136 pages. paperback. 

 

9780814339169FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Airing on ABC from 1957 to 1962, Maverick appeared at a key moment in television Western history and provided a distinct alternative to the genre’s usual moralistic lawmen in its hero, Bret Maverick. A non-violent gambler and part-time con man, Maverick’s principles revolved around pleasure and not power, and he added humor, satire, and irony to the usually grim-faced Western. In this study of Maverick, author Dennis Broe details how the popular series mocked, altered, and undermined the characteristics of other popular Westerns, like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Broe highlights the contributions made by its creators, its producer, Roy Huggins, and its lead actor, James Garner, to a format that was described as “the American fairy tale.” Broe describes how Garner and Huggins struck blows against a feudal studio system that was on its last legs in cinema but was being applied even more rigidly in television. He considers Maverick as a place where multiple counter-cultural discourses converged—including Baudelaire’s Flaneur, Guy DeBord’s Situationists, and Jack Kerouc’s Beats—in a form that was acceptable to American households. Finally, Broe shows how the series’ validation of Maverick’s outside-the-law status punctured the Cold War rhetoric promoted by the “adult” Western. Broe also highlights the series’ female con women or flaneuses, who were every bit the equal of their male counterparts and added additional layers to the traditional schoolteacher/showgirl Western dichotomy. Broe demonstrates the progressive nature of Maverick as it worked to counter the traditional studio mode of production, served as a locus of counter-cultural trends, and would ultimately become the lone outpost of anti–Cold War and anti-establishment sentiments within the Western genre. Maverick fans and scholars of American television history will enjoy this close look at the classic series.

 

Broe DennisDennis Broe’s books include Class, Crime and International Film Noir: Globalizing America’s Dark Art; Film Noir, American Workers, and Postwar Hollywood; Cold War Expressionism: Perverting the Politics of Perception; and the forthcoming The End of Leisure and the Birth of the Binge: Hyperindustrialism and Television Seriality. His television criticism segment, ‘Broe on the Global Television Beat’ appears on Arts Express on WBAI in New York and on the Pacifica Radio Network. He is a professor of film and television studies at Long Island University.

 

 


 

 

 

Teaiwa, Teresia Kieuea . Sweat and Salt Water: Selected Works. Honolulu. 2021. University of Hawaii Press. 9780824890285. Compiled and edited by Katerina Teaiwa, April K. Henderson, and Terence Wesley-Smith. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4. 2 b&w illustrations. Pacific Islands Monograph Series. 288 pages. paperback. 

9780824890285FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

On 21 March 2017, Associate Professor Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa passed away at the age of forty-eight. News of Teaiwa’s death precipitated an extraordinary outpouring of grief unmatched in the Pacific studies community since Epeli Hau‘ofa’s passing in 2009. Mourners referenced Teaiwa’s nurturing interactions with numerous students and colleagues, her innovative program building at Victoria University of Wellington, her inspiring presence at numerous conferences around the globe, her feminist and political activism, her poetry, her Banaban/I-Kiribati/Fiji Islander and African American heritage, and her extraordinary ability to connect and communicate with people of all backgrounds. This volume features a selection of Teaiwa’s scholarly and creative contributions captured in print over a professional career cut short at the height of her productivity. The collection honors her legacy in various scholarly fields, including Pacific studies, Indigenous studies, literary studies, security studies, and gender studies, and on topics ranging from militarism and tourism to politics and pedagogy. It also includes examples of Teaiwa’s poems. Many of these contributions have had significant and lasting impacts. Teaiwa’s “bikinis and other s/pacific notions,” published in The Contemporary Pacific in 1995, could be regarded as her breakthrough piece, attracting considerable attention at the time and still cited regularly today. With its innovative two-column format and reflective commentary, “Lo(o)sing the Edge,” part of a special issue of The Contemporary Pacific in 2001, had similar impact. Teaiwa’s writings about what she dubbed “militourism,” and more recent work on militarization and gender, continue to be very influential. Perhaps her most significant contribution was to Pacific studies itself, an emerging interdisciplinary field of study with distinctive goals and characteristics. In several important journal articles and book chapters reproduced here, Teaiwa helped define the essential elements of Pacific studies and proposed teaching and learning strategies appropriate for the field. Sweat and Salt Water includes fifteen of Teaiwa’s most influential pieces and four poems organized into three categories: Pacific Studies, Militarism and Gender, and Native Reflections. A foreword by Sean Mallon, Teaiwa’s spouse, is followed by a short introduction by the volume’s editors. A comprehensive bibliography of Teaiwa’s published work is also included.

 

Teaiwa Teresia KieueaAssociate Professor Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa (1968-2017) was an influential scholar, teacher, activist and poet, and director of Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

Katerina Teaiwa is associate professor and deputy director Higher Degree Research in the School of Culture, History, and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, at the Australian National University.

 

April K. Henderson is senior lecturer and director of the Va‘aomanu Pasifika—Programme in Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

 

Terence Wesley-Smith is a professor in the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i, Manoa.

 


 

 

 

 

Whitman, James Q.. Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. Princeton. 2017. Princeton University Press. 9780691172422. 208 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Faceout Studio, Charkes Brock. 

 

9780691172422FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies. As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws?the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh. Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.

 

Whitman James QJames Q. Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School. He earned his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University and Law School and also holds an M.A. in European History from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Intellectual History from the University of Chicago. From 1988-1989, Professor Whitman clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, then began his teaching career at Stanford University Law School. He has taught as a visiting professor at universities in France and Italy and has been a professor at Yale Law School since 1994. In 1996 he became the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law. Professor Whitman's many articles have been published internationally and across disciplines. He has also been awarded numerous prizes and fellowships throughout his career. In 2008 he published The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial, which received an honorable mention, Silver Gavel Award, American Bar Association, 2009. His book The Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War appeared in 2012. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 2010-2011. His other scholarship includes an article, "The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty" published in the 2004 volume of The Yale Law Journal. His 2003 book, Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide Between America and Europe, published by the Oxford University Press, won the 2004 Distinguished Book Award of the Division of International Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.

 


 

 

 

Karapanou, Margarita. Kassandra and the Wolf. New York. 1976. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 0151421749. Translated from the Greek by N. C. Germanacos. 115 pages. hardcover. Dust jacket art by Seymour Chwast. 

 

0151421749FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Margarita Karapanou's Kassandra and the Wolf was first published in 1974, and went on to become a contemporary classic in Greece, receive international acclaim, and establish its 28-year-old author as an intensely original new talent, who garnered comparisons to Proust and Schulz. Six-year-old Kassandra is given a doll: I put her to sleep in her box, but first I cut off her legs and arms so she'd fit, she tells us, Later, I cut her head off too, so she wouldn t be so heavy. Now I love her very much. Kassandra is an unforgettable narrator, a perfect, brutal guide to childhood as we ve never seen ita journey that passes through the looking glass but finds the darkest corners of the real world.

 

 

Karapanou MargaritaMargarita Karapanou (1946–2008) was a Greek novelist. Daughter of the renowned novelist Margarita Limberaki, she grew up in Athens and Paris. She studied Philosophy and Cinema in Paris, and Nursery in London. Her novels have been translated in many European languages.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

McKay, Claude. Banjo. New York. 1929. Harper & Brothers. 326 pages. hardcover.

 

banjoFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Lincoln Agrippa Daily, known on the 1920s Marseilles waterfront as ‘Banjo,’ prowls the rough waterfront bistros with his drifter friends, drinking, looking for women, playing music, fighting, loving, and talking - about their homes in Africa, the West Indies, or the American South and about being black. BANJO was noted in part for its portrayal of how the French treated people from its sub-Saharan African colonies. Aime Césaire stated that in BANJO, blacks were described truthfully and without ‘inhibition or prejudice‘.

 

 

McKay ClaudeClaude McKay was born in Jamaica on 15th September, 1890. He began writing poetry as a schoolboy. He worked as a policeman in Spanish Town and when he was twenty-two had his first volume of poems, SONGS OF JAMAICA (1912) published. In 1912 McKay moved to the United States where he attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Kansas State University. He continued to write poetry and in 1918 his work was praised by both Frank Harris and Max Eastman. The following year, his poem, ‘If We Must Die,’ was published in Eastman's journal, The Liberator. Frank Harris encouraged McKay to obtain writing experience in England. In 1919 McKay travelled to England where he met George Bernard Shaw who introduced him to influential left-wing figures in journalism. This included Sylvia Pankhurst, who recruited him to write for her trade union journal, Workers' Dreadnought. While in London McKay read the works of Karl Marx and becomes a committed socialist. In 1921 McKay returned to New York and became associate editor of The Liberator. Over the next year the journal published articles by McKay such as ‘How Black Sees Green and Red’ and ‘He Who Gets Slapped.’ He also published his best known volume of verse, HARLEM SHADOWS (1922). In 1922 McKay went to Third International in Moscow where he represented the American Workers Party. He stayed in Europe where he wrote TRIAL BY LYNCHING: STORIES ABOUT NEGRO LIFE IN AMERICA (1925) and HOME TO HARLEM (1928), a novel about a disillusioned black soldier in the US Army who returns from the Western Front to live in a black ghetto. This was followed by other novels such as BANJO (1928), GINGERTOWN (1932) and BANANA BOTTOM (1933). McKay gradually lost faith in communism and returned to the United States in 1934. Employment was difficult to find and for a while he worked for the Federal Writers' Project. McKay's published work during this period included his autobiography, A LONG WAY FROM HOME (1937) and HARLEM: NEGRO METROPOLIS (1940). Unable to make a living from writing, McKay found work in a shipbuilding yard. In 1943 he suffers a stroke and the following year was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith. In 1945 his essay, On Becoming a Roman Catholic, was published. Claude McKay died in Chicago on May 22, 1948.

 


 

 

 

Didion, Joan. Salvador. New York. 1983. Simon & Schuster. 0671470248. 108 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Lawrence Ratzkin.

 

0671470248FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

'Terror is the given of the place.' The place is El Salvador in 1982, at the ghastly height of its civil war. The writer is Joan Didion, who delivers an anatomy of that country's particular brand of terror-its mechanisms, rationales, and intimate relation to United States foreign policy.As ash travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, and considers the distinctly Salvadoran grammar of the verb 'to disappear,' Didion gives us a book that is germane to any country in which bloodshed has become a standard tool of politics. In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations and evasions of our own country's foreign policy.

 

 

Didion JoanJoan Didion (December 5, 1934 – December 23, 2021) was an American writer. Her career began in the 1950s after she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the 1960s and the Hollywood lifestyle. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In 1991, she wrote the earliest mainstream media article to suggest the Central Park Five had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007. In 2013, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne, in 2017.

 


 

 

 

Mernissi, Fatima. The Forgotten Queens of Islam. Minneapolis. 1993. University of Minnesota Press. 0816624380. Translated by Mary Jo Lakeland. 230 pages. hardcover.

 

0816624380FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

In this extraordinary and powerful book Fatima Mernissi, one of the most original and distinctive voices in the Islamic world, uncovers a hidden history of women leaders of Islamic states stretching back over fifteen centuries. When Benazir Bhutto became prime minister of Pakistan in 1988, many claimed that it was a blasphemous assault on Islamic tradition since no Muslim state, critics alleged, had ever been governed by a woman. But Fatima Mernissi examined fifteen centuries of Islamic history and discovered that the critics were wrong. Recovering the stories of fifteen Islamic queens, this remarkable exploration tells how they ascended the throne, how they governed and exercised their power, and how their forgotten reigns influence the ways in which politics is practiced in Islam today.

 

Mernissi FatimaFatema Mernissi (27 September 1940 – 30 November 2015) was a Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist. Fatema Mernissi was born in Fez, Morocco. She grew up in the harem of her affluent paternal grandmother along with various female kin and servants. She received her primary education in a school established by the nationalist movement, and secondary level education in an all-girls school funded by the French protectorate. In 1957, she studied political science at the Sorbonne and at Brandeis University, gaining her doctorate there. She returned to work at the Mohammed V University and taught at the Faculté des Lettres between 1974 and 1981 on subjects such as methodology, family sociology and psychosociology. She became known internationally mainly as an Islamic feminist. Mernissi was a lecturer at the Mohammed V University of Rabat and a research scholar at the University Institute for Scientific Research, in the same city. She died in Rabat on 30 November 2015. As an Islamic feminist, Mernissi was largely concerned with Islam and women's roles in it, analyzing the historical development of Islamic thought and its modern manifestation. Through a detailed investigation of the nature of the succession to Muhammad, she cast doubt on the validity of some of the hadith (sayings and traditions attributed to him), and therefore the subordination of women that she sees in Islam, but not necessarily in the Qur'an. She wrote extensively about life within harems, gender, and public and private spheres. As a sociologist, Mernissi mainly did field work in Morocco. On several occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s, she conducted interviews in order to map prevailing attitudes to women and work. She did sociological research for UNESCO and ILO as well as for the Moroccan authorities. In the same period, Mernissi contributed articles to periodicals and other publications on women in Morocco and women and Islam from a contemporary as well as from a historical perspective. Her work has been cited as an inspiration by other Muslim feminists, such as those who founded Musawah. In 2003, Mernissi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award along with Susan Sontag. In 2004 she was awarded the Erasmus Prize, alongside Sadik Al-Asm and Abdolkarim Soroush. Mernissi’s first monograph, Beyond the Veil, was published in 1975. A revised edition was published in Britain in 1985 and in the US in 1987. Beyond the Veil has become a classic, especially in the fields of anthropology and sociology on women in the Arab World, the Mediterranean area or Muslim societies in general. Her most famous book, as an Islamic feminist, The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Islam, is a quasi-historical study of role of the wives of Muhammad. It was first published in French in 1987, and translated into English in 1991. The book was banned in Morocco, Iran, and Arab states of the Persian Gulf. For Doing Daily Battle: Interviews with Moroccan Women (1991), she interviewed peasant women, women labourers, clairvoyants and maidservants. In 1994, Mernissi published a memoir, Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood (in the US, the book was originally titled The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood, and is still known by that title in the UK). She contributed the piece "The merchant's daughter and the son of the sultan" to the anthology Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology (1984), edited by Robin Morgan.

 


 

 

 


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