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Beyond Harem Walls: Redefining Women's Space in Works by Assia Djebar, Malek Alloula and Fatima Mernissi

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Orientalist and colonial representations of harems have resulted in the association of North African women with domestic confinement. North African authors such as Assia Djebar (1980), Malek Alloula (1981) and Fatima Mernissi (1994), however, suggest that this view is biased. While focusing largely on Fatima Mernissi's memoir, Dreams of Trespass, this article builds on these authors' exploration of the various ways in which women of the Maghreb are portrayed, in order to provide a clearer understanding of the dynamics of women's space in the context of colonial North Africa.

Affiliations: 1: The Pennsylvania State University;, Email:


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