AWEJ for translation & Literary Studies Volume, 1 Number 4, October 2017                                      Pp.52-67

Gender and Poetry in Muslim Spain: Mapping the Sexual-Textual Politics of Al-Andalus

O.Ishaq Tijani

Department of General Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements
University of Dubai, UAE

Imed Nsiri

Department of Arabic and Translation Studies,
American University of Sharjah, UAE


Abstract PDF

This article revisits the role of women in the Andalusian literature and culture of the period between the 8th through the 15th centuries C.E. Drawing on some Western sexual-textual political models of analysis, the article reexamines the literary methods and devices employed by selected Andalusian women poets to demonstrate their intellectual equality with men. Moreover, by providing a sexual-textual political reading of some of the women’s poems and/or the anecdotes (akhbār) about them, the article demonstrates how these women exerted their social and political agency in a male-dominated society. The article seeks to bolster an argument that the frequent mention of the preponderance of women poets—their names and the anecdotes about them—suggests the existence of a female literary sub-culture in al-Andalus that was more vibrant than has been documented in the male-authored classical Arabic texts.

Cite as:

Tijani, O. I., & Nsiri, I. (2017). Gender and Poetry in Muslim Spain: Mapping the Sexual-Textual Politics of Al-Andalus. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 1(4).


O. Ishaq Tijani is adjunct faculty at the Department of General Undergraduate Curriculum
Requirements, University of Dubai, UAE. He earned the PhD from the University of Edinburgh,
UK, and he is the author of Male Domination, Female Revolt: Race, Class, and Gender in
Kuwaiti Women’s Fiction (Brill, 2009). His research interests revolve around women and gender
in Arabic literature.

Imed Nsiri is an assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah. He earned a Double
Major PhD in Arabic and Comparative Literature from the University of Indiana, Bloomington,