Gender and comparative Literature

Dr. Antelak Al-Mutawakel and  Dr. Zahra Al-Saqqaf

Lectures: Thursday, Oct. 25, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Setting the agenda for the working group: Thursday, Oct. 25, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Working group (independent): Friday, Oct. 26 – Sunday Oct. 28 (16 hrs)
Presentation: Monday, Oct 29, 10:00 – 4:30 pm (30 min.)

Gender, as an analytical and theoretical concept, developed partially because of conflicts with feminist criticism and grew alongside feminist theory throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With the focus on cultural history, the concept is used to explicate literary works as cultural artifacts  in order to politicize gender issues thereby motivating social change. Gender concepts are relevant to literary theory as keys to incorporate various dimensions of cultural history and literary meaning.

In the first lecture, Dr. Zahra Al-Saqqaf will present a survey of the emergence and development of gender concepts within literary theory and criticism, and Dr. Antelak Al-Mutawakel will explain the main components and tools of the gender approach in analyzing literary texts. She will deal with the notions of “author-text-reader” as one package that is necessarily wrapped by a specific context and is based on the idea that literature is one form of cultural representation of which gender relations are depicted and influenced by author, context and reader.

In the second lecture, Dr. Al-Mutawakel and Dr. Al-Saqqaf will examine various gender notions and apply the gender approach to the reading of world-known and other texts from different cultures: Arab, English, Chinese and Caribbean.


  • Al-Mutawakel, Antelak: Gender and the writing of Yemeni Women Writers. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press, 2005.
  • Flax, Jane: Postmodernism and Gender Relations in Feminist Theory, in: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 12, No. 4, Summer 1987
  • Gamble, Sarah (ed.): The Routledge Companion to Feminism and Postfeminism. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.
  • Humm, Maggie (1994) A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Feminist Literary Criticism. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Kincaid, Jamaica: Annie John. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983, (Ch. 6, pp. 85-107)
  • Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Womam Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts. New York: Vintage Books, 1976.
  • Lawrence, D.H.: Sons and Lovers. First published 1913, Delhi: Rupa, Ninth Impression, 1991, (pp. 1-56).
  • Mcgrath, Joseph, Kelly, Janice and Rhodes (1993 ) “ A Feminist Perspective on Research Methodology: Some Metatheoretical Issues, Contrasts, and Choices,” in  Gender Issues in Contemporary Society. Stuart Oskam and Mark Cosanza.(eds) Newbury: Sage,:.19-37.
  • Purvis, Jennifer. "Grrrls and Women Together in the Third Wave: Embracing the Challenges of Intergenerational Feminism(s)" in NWSA Journal - Volume 16, Number 3, Fall 2004, pp. 93-123
  • Soueif, Ahdaf: In the Eye of the Sun. London: Bloomsbury, 1992.
(Stand: 20.04.2022)