AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume2, Number 1, February 2018 Pp. 135-144

A Gynocritic-intersectional Reading of Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace

Language Center, Batterjee Medical College
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



Abstract PDF

When Showalter (1981) coined the term gynocriticism to undermine feminist methodicide, feminist literary criticism established a clear methodological structure for application (as cited in Barry, 2009, pp. 17-20). However, as a result of technology, globalization and political changes, women suffer not only because of their gender but also because of their class, race or religion, which Crenchaw (1989) summarizes in the term “intersectionality” (p. 538). Shedding light on women’s multiple identities can help contemporary societies spot the discrimination that contemporary women suffer from; consequently, these societies can find solutions to eliminate the sources of women’s double marginalization. Race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation are intersecting loci of discriminations or privileges (McCall, 2005, p. 1771). Although this is a western paradigm, it can be applied to Saudi Arabian literature. The elements of gynocriticism and intersectionality are evident in the works of Raja Alem, a feminist writer from Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Due to the dearth of structured feminist literary criticism in the Arab world, this paper traces the history of feminist literary criticism and applies a gynocritic-intersectional model to Raja Alem’s novel, The Dove’s Necklace (2012) in order to examine the projection of women and help close the research gap in Arabic feminist criticism. The researcher probes the biological, linguistic, psychoanalytical and cultural depiction of the female characters in the novel along with their intersectional identities. The findings show that women’s overlapping identities influence the way they experience oppression and discrimination.

Cite as:

Aldeeb, N.  R. (2018). A Gynocritic-intersectional Reading of Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 2 (1).