Constructions of Masculinity in the Middle East and North Africa: Literature, Film, and National Discourse

Constructions of Masculinity in the Middle East and North Africa: Literature, Film, and National Discourse


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A multi-disciplinary exploration of how masculinity in the MENA region is constructed in film, literature, and nationalist discourse

Constructions of masculinity are constantly evolving and being resisted in the Middle East and North Africa. There is no "before" that was a stable gendered environment. This edited collection examines constructions of both hegemonic and marginalized masculinities in the MENA region, through literary criticism, film studies, discourse analysis, anthropological accounts, and studies of military culture. Bringing together contributors from the disciplines of linguistics, comparative literature, sociology, cultural studies, queer and gender studies, film studies, and history, Constructions of Masculinity in the Middle East and North Africa spans the colonial to the postcolonial eras with emphasis on the late twentieth century to the present day. This collective study is a diverse and exciting addition to the literature on gender and societal organization at a time when masculinities in the Middle East and North Africa are often essentialized and misunderstood.


  • Jedidiah Anderson, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
  • Amal Amireh, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  • Kaveh Bassiri, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA
  • Oyman Basran, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA
  • Alessandro Columbu, University of Manchester, England
  • Nicole Fares, at-large
  • Robert James Farley, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Andrea Fischer-Tahir, at-large
  • Nouri Gana, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Kifah Hanna, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
  • Sarah Hudson, Connors State College, Warner, Oklahoma, USA
  • Mohja Kahf, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA
  • John Tofik Karam, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Kathryn Kalemkerian, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Ebtihal Mahadeen, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Matthew Parnell, American University in Cairo, Egypt
  • Nadine Sinno, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789774169755
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, The
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Mohja Kahf (editor) teaches at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Nadine Sinno (editor) teaches at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Constructions of Masculinity in Southwest Asia and North Africa

Mohja Kahf

  1. Exotic and Benighted, or Modern yet Victimized? The Modern Predicament of the Arab Queer

    Jedidiah Anderson
  2. Of Heroes and Men: the Crisis of Masculinity in the Post-Oslo Palestinian Narrative

    Amal Amireh
  3. The Precariousness of Hegemonic Masculinity in Rashid Al-Daif’s Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep,
    Nadine Sinno
  4. Crises of Masculinity in Hudā Barakāt’s War Literature
    Kifah Hanna
  5. Mahfouz, al-Mutanabbi, and the Canon: Poetics of Deviance from the Masculine Nationalist Discourse of al-Sukkariyya
    Robert James Farley
  6. Diasporic Queer Arabs in Europe and North America: Sexual Citizenship and Narratives of Inclusion and Exclusion
    Nicole Fares
  7. Shaken Masculine Identity and the Persistence of Male-centered Narrative in Zakariyya Tāmir’s Latest Work
    Alessandro Columbu
  8. Romancing Middle Eastern Men in North and South America: Two Mid-Century Texts
    John Tofik Karam
  9. Tracing Masculinity in Iranian Cinema
    Kaveh Bassiri
  10. Men and Modernity in Postcolonial Tunisian Cinema
    Nouri Gana
  11. Constructions of Masculinity in Palestinian Film
    Sarah Hudson
  12. Gendered Politics in Late Nineteenth-century Egyptian Nationalist Discourse
    Matthew B. Parnell
  13. Men at Work: The Politics of Professional Pride in Ottoman Beirut
    Kathryn Kalemkerian
  14. “You Are Like A Virus:" Dangerous Bodies and Military Medical Authority in Turkey
    Oyman Basran
  15. Gendered Memories and Masculinities: Kurdish Peshmerga on the Anfal Campaign in Iraq
    Andrea Fischer-Tahir
  16. Militarist Masculinity, Militarist Femininity: A Gendered Analysis of Jordan’s War on the Islamic State
    Ebtihal Mahadeen

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