Women's Orients--English Women and the Middle East, 1718-1918: Sexuality, Religion, and Work

University of Michigan Press, 1992 - 417 pages
In this original new study Billie Melman recovers the unwritten history of the European experience of the Middle East during the colonial era. She focuses on the evolution of Orientalism and the reconstruction--through contact with other cultures--of gender and class.
Beginning with the eighteenth century Billie Melman describes the many ways in which women looked at oriental people and places and developed a discourse which presented a challenge to hegemonic notions on the exotic and "different." Their contact with, and observation of, Middle Eastern people, especially women, created a reassessment of Western domestic and sexual politics and even a solidarity of gender, which cut across race and religion. Billie Melman examines the writings of famous feminist writers, travellers, ethnographers, missionaries, archaeologists, and Biblical scholars, many of whose writings are studied here for the first time. Women's Orients, by introducing gender and class into the ongoing debate on relations between colonial politics and culture, challenges traditional interpretations of Orientalism and other forms of cross-cultural representation.

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A Prosopography of Travel 17631914
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