I am a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of English at the University of Kent. My thesis is an exploration of contemporary women’s autobiographical writing from the Middle East, looking specifically at how the writers articulate experiences of the city and how the urban environment has come to inform their identity. Often written during times of conflict and instability, I am interested in the alternative narratives that these women offer, as well as their contestations with political power and patriarchy. I am also interested in the rise of blogging, especially leading up to and during the Arab uprisings of 2011, and part of my thesis will consider how these contribute to the field of women’s autobiographical writing.
One of the three cities that I am focusing on is Jerusalem. In particular, I am looking at the spatial politics of the city, as explored in narratives that deal with the disintegration of the Palestinian communities in West Jerusalem as a result of 1948, as well as the present day occupation of East Jerusalem.