Femin(ine)ist Dialogues: Women and the Role of the French Language in Contemporary Morocco


 

SUMMARY PAGE

CURRICULUM PROJECT

FULBRIGHT-HAYS, MOROCCO, SUMMER 2004

Submitted by: Dr. Valérie Orlando, Associate Professor of French

Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61972

phone: 309-556-3571/fax: 309-556-3284/email: vorlando@iwu.edu

TITLE: Femin(ine)ist Dialogues: Women and the Role of the French Language in Contemporary Morocco [as part of a semester-long course entitled: Contemporary Issues in Francophone Women’s Writing of the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco)]

SUMMARY: This project attempts to assess to what extent Moroccan women use the French language; both in every day life and for more formal settings, i.e. creative writing, journalism and university study. Since the end of France’s influence in the country in 1956, French has continued to be used by authors, journalists, professors and academics both in and outside of the country. However, Arabisation programs of the 1960s-present have, however, caused a decline in the use of French. English has also been promoted in schools nation wide and has gained in popularity among young people. While francophone authors such as Fatima Oufkir and her daughter, Malika have chosen French as their language of choice to recount their stories (and these are very political and written in exile),1 writer Leila Abouzeid first wrote Year of the Elephant and later novels such as The Last Chapter in her native Arabic. Year of the Elephant was the “first novel by a Moroccan woman to be translated from Arabic to English.”2 The novel received critical acclaim in the West and eventually gained praise in Morocco. Female ethnologists and sociologists such as Fatima Mernissi have chosen to write in French and Arabic, depending on the audience. Over the course of the Fulbright six weeks in Morocco, I dedicated research time to assessing when, where, how and why French is used by contemporary female scholars, as well as civil servants, shopkeepers and many other women working in a variety of different employment sectors of Moroccan society. The findings from the seminar will be used to teach the Moroccan component of a semester long literature course entitled “Women Writers of the Maghreb: Contemporary Issues.”

TITLE: Femin(ine)ist Dialogues: Women and the Role of the French Language in Contemporary Morocco [as part of a semester-long course entitled: Contemporary Issues in Francophone Women’s Writing of the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco)]

SUMMARY: This project attempts to assess to what extent Moroccan women use the French language; both in every day life and for more formal settings, i.e. creative writing, journalism and university study. Since the end of France’s influence in the country in 1956, French has continued to be used by authors, journalists, professors and academics both in and outside of the country. However, Arabisation programs of the 1960s-present have, however, caused a decline in the use of French. English has also been promoted in schools nation wide and has gained in popularity among young people. While francophone authors such as Fatima Oufkir and her daughter, Malika have chosen French as their language of choice to recount their stories (and these are very political and written in exile),3 writer Leila Abouzeid first wrote Year of the Elephant and later novels such as The Last Chapter in her native Arabic. Year of the Elephant was the “first novel by a Moroccan woman to be translated from Arabic to English.”4 The novel received critical acclaim in the West and eventually gained praise in Morocco. Female ethnologists and sociologists such as Fatima Mernissi have chosen to write in French and Arabic, depending on the audience.

OBJECTIVES: Over the course of the Fulbright six weeks in Morocco, I dedicated research time to assessing when, where, how and why French is used by contemporary female scholars, as well as civil servants, shopkeepers and many other women working in a variety of different employment sectors of Moroccan society. The findings from the seminar will be used to teach the Moroccan component of a semester long literature course entitled “Women Writers of the Maghreb: Contemporary Issues.” Five weeks of the course will be dedicated to Morocco during which I envisage concentrating on novels by Moroccan women authors with theoretical background material by leading Moroccan theorists and academics. The research completed on novels by Moroccan women in French during the Fulbright-Hays seminar will also be used to compile an annotated bibliography. This bibliography will be published in a forthcoming issue (2005) of Women in French, an American academic journal dedicated to promoting women’s writing from France and the francophone world.

GRADE LEVEL: University, undergraduate. Offered as a Senior Seminar in French to students majoring and minoring in French at Illinois Wesleyan University.

KEY QUESTIONS:

1) Is use of French limited to authors who want to write of overtly politically sensitive matters; Examples: Oufkir’s Les jardins du roi, Fatima Mernissi’s Le Harem politique and Siham Benchekroun’s Oser Vivre.

2) Is French used only among the educated elite and academic scholars?

3) When and where is the French language taught?

4) How many foreign language options do students have in Morocco? Does French receive the same treatment as any other foreign language?

5) What are the age categories of speakers of French?

6) Are francophones in decline?

7) How are francophone authors viewed in Morocco?

8) What is the overall literacy rate for Moroccan women in their own language?

9) What are the percentages of women/men using French?

10) What are the circumstances in which French is used?

11) What sort of relationship does France currently have with Morocco?

12) Is French used to shape notions/contours of “feminism” and/or the feminist movement in Morocco?

BACKGROUND NOTES:

Much of the analytical/critical background notes for this module of the course was acquired during the Fulbright-Hays seminar to Morocco, Summer 2004. Primarily, sessions and seminars with Professor Fatima Sadiqi (linguistics), professor Naima Chekhaoui (anthropology) and author Leila Abouzeid form the critical contours of this study. Critical texts obtained while in Morocco (and used to confirm previous hypotheses I had about women, language use and society) include, Ali Mounir Alaoui’s Destins de femmes, Fatima Mernissi’s Les Sindbads, Fatima Sadiqi’s Women, Gender and Language in Morocco as well as a plethora of documents and articles. My goal was to assess to what extent French shapes how women see themselves, what they are talking about, and to what extent they are able to achieve their goals both in and outside Morocco. The six weeks in Morocco allowed me to find books by women authors which are inaccessible in the United States and Europe due to the fact that they are printed by small, Moroccan presses which often mandate that the author pay for publication. This study, I hope, will also encourage republication abroad with the aim of promoting Moroccan women’s writing and strengthening it as a vital component of a multi-lingual society that is transiting from traditional/rural values to modernity in a fast-paced, global world. Titles of novels will be compiled later and published as an annotated bibliography in an issue of Women in French, an international journal concerned with the promotion of women authors who write in French throughout the world.

When and How is French used?

During my stay in Morocco I observed that French is used in conjunction with Arabic/Berber or as an alternative to one of these two languages in certain contexts (i.e. in conversations with Westerners). As an American who speaks French fluently, I did gain access to certain spaces and discussions, which I would not have had otherwise. In Southern Morocco this included talking to a group of Berber men in French about schools for girls. None of these men knew English.

French is the language of choice when 1) promoting highly volatile political agendas (i.e. secular feminism, communist manifestos etc. from the extreme left); 2) when seeking employment in private sector jobs such as banking, international business, etc.; 3) Glitzy TV programs for the young-such as Studio 2M a Moroccan version of Star Search in which young Moroccans sing in either French, English or Arabic to be judged by a panel of judges. Judging takes place mostly in French, the global discourse of the show is in Arabic. Use of French on Studio 2M is due to the many Moroccan immigrant kids who come to Morocco on holiday to tempt their luck on the show. Many of these youths have limited knowledge of Moroccan Arabic and function better in French.

Multilingualism in Morocco

Language is a defining factor in the formation of Moroccan identity. This is ironic since some estimates (Sadiqi) place the percentage of illiteracy at 80% for women in rural areas (60% nation wide). How language is used in Morocco is particularly well documented in the work of Fatima Sadiqi, Professor of Linguistics and English at the University of Fes. In her formal presentation to the Fulbright group, she explained how multilingualism operates in Morocco. From this I ascertained to what extent and how the French language is used in contemporary society. In general terms, Sadiqi outlined the following criteria for language choice in Morocco as follows:

* Language always fulfills a social need.

*There are social variables that change language.

*Gender defines how language is used.

*Multilingualism is positively viewed in Morocco.

The four main languages of Morocco are: Standard Arabic (written/oral); Spoken Moroccan (Derija, oral); French (written/oral); Berber (oral).

Language is spatially stratified between public and private sectors of the society. As Fatima Mernissi has demonstrated, particularly in her seminal work Beyond the Veil: Male Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society (Indiana UP, 1987) private-interior space is that occupied by women, whereas outside “public” space is male dominated. The theme of spacial divisions and language use is repeated in women’s writing throughout the Maghreb. Moroccan authors: Siham Benchekroun (Oser vivre), Touria Oulehri (La Répudiée) and Soumya Zahy (On ne rentrera peut-être plus jamais chez nous), are some of the authors who dwell on the impact of these spacial divisions inherent in Moroccan society and its influence on the actions of their heroines.

Gender influence on language use

Moroccan socio-linguist Fatima Bennouiss points out in her study Moroccan Female Power Negotiation that women’s roles in a society are “spatio-temporal” and are constantly negotiated by language use.5 Language use is particularly problematic for Moroccan women because, “the Moroccan woman has to shape an independent identity for herself different not only from her elders’ ideas, but also away from any blind imitation of the West.” 6

Standard Arabic is considered a “male language” in the sense that it is spoken primarily by men in active, outside space. It is the “official language of the country” and is used in formal settings. Arabic use connotes an identity that is linked to the larger, Arab world. It is the language of power. Research has shown that women venerate standard Arabic, but they also say that it is not for them. Traditional, devout Islamic men think women shouldn’t speak Standard Arabic because it is sacred. Use of SA equates power.

Berber languages (there are four in Morocco) have never been written. In many areas, men have left villages to migrate to northern cities and women stayed behind. Thus, Berber has become a primarily “feminized” language used by women to communicate on all levels of daily village life. Women’s and Berbers’ rights have been championed often in the same political rhetoric because they are viewed as equally marginalized on the fringes of Moroccan society. Since the debut of Mohammed VI’s reign in 2000, Berber has been “nationalized” and legislation has been put into place, mandating teaching of Berber in primary schools.

Moroccan Arabic (Derija) is an “interface” language. Power structures are less clear in Moroccan Arabic because it is used by both men and women in settings that are fairly equal. It is a lingua franca, borrowing words, idioms and syntax structures from Classical Arabic, French, Spanish and English. Fatima Sadiqi explains that “you can be yourself in Moroccan Arabic” because it allows one to transit between public and private space as well as between “foreign” and indigenous spaces.

French is the language of administration and, as one friend told me, “bureaucracy.” French is normally thought of as an urban language and promotes power in public spaces; i.e. the CEO who heads a company will use French. Women use French in both private and public spheres of Moroccan society. It is the language of most universities as well as other academic settings. French allows women to use “taboo” words and, thus, gives them a certain sense of power. There is generally a very positive attitude towards French in Morocco, even though it is the language of the former colonizer. It is still necessary to speak French in most civil service and office jobs in the private sector. Parents generally want their children to speak French. Women have been responsible for teaching French to their children. In his study, A Sociolinguistic Investigation of Multilingualism in Morocco, Louis-André Gravel notes:

One reason for the preference of French by Moroccan females....is the prestige that French enjoys. Due to etiquette, a Moroccan female is considered more refined and cultivated because of her use of French in many social situations. However, many respondents [to a survey] are also very pro-Moroccanization of various domains where French was previously the expected language. Therefore, a large segment of the university sample manifest a preference for the Arabic language, Moroccan or Classical.7

Although Gravel’s study dates back to the 1970s, many of his findings I found to be still true today. Women and men in Morocco still view French as a relatively useful as well as refined language associated with high class, elitism and job access. It is definitely true that it will take many generations before French is relegated to playing less significant roles in Moroccan society.

Remarking on oral use of Moroccan Arabic and French, I noticed that code switching is done more efficiently by women than men because, as Sadiqi has proved, women have more to gain by multilingually transiting in society between public and private space.

English increasingly is replacing French as the foreign language of choice for university students seeking to pursue language study. According to a study published by Fatima Sadiqi in 1991, use of French is on the decline due to the perception that English signifies modernity-as well as access to jobs, global markets, tourism, etc. Additionally, “English is not associated with a particular state [as French is with its former colonizing history]...This is why English is popular in mass pop culture, scientific writings, and the like. This also explains its lingua-franca usage among tourists all over the world.”8 It is widely believed by most Moroccans that “English will emerge as a major rival to French and [Moroccans] are not opposed to this change.”9

Concerning gender and the use of these above-mentioned languages, while in Morocco I observed first-hand that use of French and English were equally distributed among the academics and educated people with whom we came in contact during the Fulbright program.

French Language Novels

While in Morocco, I attempted to determine to what extent women are writing in French. Before embarking, little information was available concerning works published by Moroccan women. Bookstores in Rabat, Fes, and Marrakech revealed that, in fact, there is a plethora of women’s writing in French, but that these works are published only in Morocco by Moroccan presses. Most novels I found widely available in bookstores in Morocco are not available in France or the US. While many male authors such as Driss Chraibi, Tahar Ben Jelloun and A. Serhan are well known and their works are readily found in France and through various booksellers operating on the WWW, most Moroccan women authors writing in French are virtually unknown outside Morocco. In the last ten years, small presses have thrived in Morocco primarily in Rabat and Casablanca. These are often vanity presses or printing agencies associated with universities. Often, the large Facultés de lettres in Fes, Rabat and Casablanca will publish their own professors’ work for small fees. As with most academically related publications, works are written for a small minority of educated elite who operate in English, French and Arabic. Conversations with academics throughout Morocco revealed that, although small, these authors do have a well-established reading public. Educated, Moroccan women living in France avidly read the latest novels published by their compatriots. Oser vivre!, Siham Benchekroun’s best selling novel, was widely read in book clubs across Morocco. Anthropologist Naima Chikhaoui told me that many women readily identified with the novel that tells the story of one woman’s struggle for emancipation from an abusive husband and a life of domestic drudgery which stripped her of her identity.

Themes:

The themes of novels written in French by contemporary Moroccan women tend to dwell on the inequalities women face in everyday Morocco. For example Siham Benchekroun’s Oser vivre (Casablanca: Editions Eddif, 2002) tells the story of the heroine’s struggle to break free of an abusive husband and oppressive traditionalism which have relegated her to the domestic sphere and stripped her of her individuality. Benchekroun offers readers an in-depth view of what awaits many women who marry into traditional households. The heroine, Nadia, little by little is convinced that the only way to save her sanity is to renounce marriage and her children. She leaves everything behind to, in the end, embrace her liberty. Touria Oulehri’s La Répudiée (Casablanca: Afrique-Orient Press, 2001) narrates the trials and tribulations of Niran who, after fifteen years of marriage, is repudiated by her husband who wishes to have children; something that she cannot give him. Oulehri follows the slow identity evolution experienced by the heroine who eventually realizes that finding her true self can only be achieved alone. Soumya Zahy’s On ne rentrera peut-être plus jamais chez nous(Casablanca: EDDIF, 2001) is the story of a young girl’s experience growing up in Casablanca in the late 1970s and 1980s. Told through her own voice, the girl’s commentary is particularly interesting in light of the immense transitions which were taking place in Morocco during this time. The subjects the author reveals through the voice of her protagonist include: the detrimental demographic shifts from rural areas to urban that have occurred in the country in the last twenty years, domestic abuse, women’s legal rights, traditional versus modern views of life, child labor and unemployment. Theses issues make the book invaluable for understanding the socio-cultural hurdles Moroccans endure to the present day. These themes are also echoed in more shocking accounts such as Aicha Ech-Channa’s Miseria: Témoignages (Casablanca: Editions Le Fennec, 2004) which uncovers the despair and poverty that engulfs thousands of Moroccan children throughout the country on a daily basis.

After reading these novels, as well as many others (see below), I maintain that my previous hypotheses about the use of the French language throughout the Maghreb remain founded.10 French for women authors provides a means to create an extra-diegetic space outside of the socio-cultural norms of Moroccan life. This “foreign” space allows women to position themselves on the outside to look in so that they may critique what they deem to be the fallacies and shortcomings of their society. French provides a political and socio-cultural register through which to comment on as well as found feminist dialogues. The language is at once foreign, yet familiar, since it has been used for so long in Morocco. For this reason, women authors have told me that French lets them get away with much more than they would be able to if writing in Standard Arabic.

REFERENCES

Theoretical Works:

Alaoui, Ali Mounir. Destins de Femmes. Nice: France-Europe Editions, 2003.

Bennouiss, Fatima. Moroccan Female Power Negotiation. Fez: L’Media, 2001.

Casablanca, Alger, Tunis: Femmes Unies Contre la Violence. Casablanca, 2001. Collection of articles and statistics compiled by Le Centre d’Ecoute et d’Orientation Juridique et Psychologique pour Femmes Agressées de Casablanca, L’Association S.O.S Femmes en Détresse d’Alger and L’Assocation Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates de Tunis.

Daoud, Zakya. Travailleurs marocains en France : mémoire restituée. Tangiers : Tarik éditions, 2003.

Ech-Channa, Aïcha. Miseria. Casablanca: Editions Le Fennec, 2004.

El-Khayat, Rita. La Folie : El Hank-Casablanca. Casablanca, EDDIF, 2000.

Fernea, Elizabeth. In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman’s Global Journey. NY: Doubleday Press, 1998.

Gravel, Louis-André. A Sociolinguistic Investigation of Multilingualism in Morocco. University Microfilms: Dissertation Abstracts, 1979.

Mernissi, Fatima. Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood. MA: Perseus Books, 1994.


. Islam and Democracy: Fear of the Modern World. MA: Perseus Books, 1992. Second Edition, 2002.

— Les Sindbads Marocains: Voyage dans le Maroc civique. Rabat: Editions Marsan, 2004.


. Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems. NY: Washington Square Press, 2001.

Orlando, Valérie. Nomadic Voices of Exile: Feminine Identity in Francophone Literature of the Maghreb, Athens: Ohio UP, 1999.

Sadiqi, Fatima. Women, Gender and Language in Morocco. Leiden: Brill, 2003.

Yassine, Nadia. Toutes voiles dehors. Casablanca : Le Fennec, 2003.

Articles:

Al-Faruqi, Lois Lamya’. “Islamic Traditions and the Feminist Movement: Confrontations or Cooperation?” <

Boukous, Ahmed. « La langue berbère : maintien et changement. » International Journal of Society and Language 112 (1995): 9-28.

Eddouada, Souad. “Feminism and Politics in Moroccan Feminist Non-Governmental Organizations.”

Elbiad, Mohamed. “The Role of Some Population Sectors in the Progress of Arabization in Morocco,” International Journal of Society and Language 87 (1991): 27-44.

Ennaji, Moha. “Language Planning in Morocco and Changes in Arabic,” International Journal of Society and Language 74 (1988): 9-39.

Mir-Hosseini, Ziba. “The Construction of Gender in Islamic Legal Thought and Strategies for Reform.” Koninklijke Brill, Leiden 2003.

Rahmouni, Hassan. “A Gender Breakthrough in Contemporary Muslim Morocco,”unpublished paper. Casablanca, 2003.

Sadiqi, Fatima. “The Language of Women in the city of Fès, Morocco.” International Journal of Society and Language 112 (1995): 63-79


. “The Place of Berber in Morocco,” International Journal of Society and Language 123 (1997): 7-21.

— -.”The Spread of English in Morocco.” International Journal of Society and Language 87 (1991): 99-114.

Wagner, Daniel and Jennifer Spratt. “Cognitive Consequences of Contrasting Pedagogies: The Effects of Quranic Preschooling in Morocco,” Child Development 58 (1987): 1207-1219.

Novels:

Abouzeid, Leila. The Last Chapter. Cairo/NY: The American University in Cairo Press, 2000.

— .Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman’s Journey Toward Independence. Austin: U of Texas Press, 1989.

Bahechar, Souad. Ni fleurs, ni couronnes. Casablanca : Editions Le Fennec, 2000.

Bellefqih, Anissa. Je ne verrai pas l’automne flaboyant : roman. Paris : L’Harmattan, 2003.

Boussejra, Houria. Femmes inachevées : Nouvelles. Casablanca : Marsam, 2000.


. Le Corps dérobé : roman. Casablanca : Afrique Orient, 1999.

Benabdenbi, Fattouma Djerrari. Souffle de Femme. Casablanca : EDDIF, 1999.

Benchekroun, Siham. Les jours d’ici : Nouvelles. Casablanca : Editions impreintes, 2003.

— -. Oser vivre !. Casablanca: Editions Eddif, 2002.

Ben Hachem, Souad el Alaoui.. Lis tes ratures. Casablanca : La Croisée des chemins, 2002.

Chellabi, Leïla. De Shamballa à Rabat. Alaigne, France [printed in Spain] : CLEDAM éditions,1995.

Hachim, Mouna. Les Enfants de la Chaouia: roman. Casablanca: Publiday-Multidia, 2003.

Jebbor, Myriam. Il était là : roman. Casablanca : Marsam, 2004.

Nejjai, Mounira. La Reconciliation d’Adam et Eve. Rabat : Ediquick, 2000.

Oufkir, Fatima. Les Jardins du roi. Paris: Michel Lafont, 2000.

Oufkir, Malika and Michèle Fitoussi. La Prisonnière. Paris: Grasset, 1999.

Oulehri, Touria. La Répudiée. Casablanca: Afrique-Orient Press, 2001.

Rfaly, Linda. Grain de folie : Vendredi 16 mai : Le cri d’une autre jeunesse. Casablanca : Afrique Orient, 2004.

Saqi, Rachida. Marocaines en mâle-vie. Casablanca : EDDIF,1998.

Yacoubi, Rachida. Ma vie, mon cri. Casablanca : Afrique-Orient, 2003.

Zahy, Soumya. On ne rentrera peut-être plus jamais chez nous. Casablanca: EDDIF, 2001.

Course Syllabus:

Contemporary Issues in Francophone Women’s Writing of the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco)

Course summary: Contemporary Issues in Francophone Women’s Writing of the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) is a lecture and discussion course on the historical and literary evolution of literature written in French by women from the Maghreb. We will read novels which are exemplary of the contemporary francophone canon from this region as well as the works of new Maghrebian authors. Discussions will explore the socio-political and cultural frameworks that define women’s lives as well as the specificity of each novel in terms of its own intrinsic qualities.

Course Objectives: This course is designed as a Senior Seminar for majors and minors of French language and literature. The principal objective of the course is to expose the student to a variety of contemporary Francophone literature written by women from the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). Focus will be on historical events during the colonial and post-colonial eras that have shaped the authors’ fields of reference as well as contemporary socio-cultural issues which continue to impact women’s everyday lives. Additionally, students will learn about socio-cultural and economic traditions and issues throughout the Maghreb that continually present challenges, conflicts and triumphs for Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians.

Course Work: All work is to be done in French: Class activities are based on

1) 2 short papers (5-7 pages.) [essay topics provided by the professor]

2) 1 final Major Research Paper (12-14 pages.) [student’s choice, but topics must be discussed in advance with the professor]

3) 20 minute class presentation.

4) Final Research Presentation: Students present their research paper on the day of the final exam.

Requirements: The following will be required of each student:

2 short essays 30% (due 2/25 and 3/31)

Class participation 20% (encompasses readings, general preparedness and your enthusiasm)

Class presentation 10%*

Final Research Paper 30%**

Final Research Oral

Presentation 10%*** (on day of the final)

*Students will sign up to present some aspect of francophone literature by women authors of the Maghreb. Topics may include, for example: an author’s biography (i.e. influences on her work, life experiences, etc.), a textual analysis of the work, historical or political influences on the author which contributed to the confection of her subject. Presentations will occur during class time and must be well thought out and planned in advance. Students are urged to envisage ways in which to inspire conversation in class. The entire presentation must occur in French and last a minimum of 20 minutes.

** Final Research Paper. The final research paper should demonstrate that thestudenthas conducted a significant amount of research. STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED NOT TO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE of the semester to begin research!!! The professor is not responsible for reminding students that they should be working on their research projects!! The format and project stipulations will be outlined by the professor early in the semester. Research papers are due the day of the final exam.

*** Final Research Presentations will be presented THE DAY OF the scheduled final exam. Students will provide a detailed outline of their final papers and present their research in a complete, coherent manner in French.

Course Outline/Syllabus (semester divided into 15 weeks. Since the course will touch upon issues raised in literature from all three countries of the Maghreb, approximately five weeks will be devoted to each country). The following is an example of the five week session for Moroccan women’s writing.

Femin(ine)ist Dialogues: Women and the Role of the French Language in Contemporary Morocco

Week 1: Introduction to Moroccan Women’s Writing in French: Theories and Concepts

Theoretical Readings (excerpts from):

Alaoui, Ali Mounir. Destins de Femmes. Nice: France-Europe Editions, 2003.

Orlando, Valérie. Nomadic Voices of Exile: Feminine Identity in Francophone Literature of the Maghreb, Athens: Ohio UP, 1999.

Primary Reading: Benchekroun, Siham. Oser vivre. Casablanca: Editions Eddif, 2002.

Lecture and Discussion: “What are the Challenges and Triumphs of Moroccan Women in Contemporary Morocco?”

—New reforms in Women’s Rights: The Moudouana and changes in the Moroccan Family Code.

—Women in Politics; statistics past and present

Week 2: The Challenges and Triumphs of Moroccan Women

Theoretical Readings (excerpts from):

Fernea, Elizabeth. In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman’s Global Journey. NY: Doubleday Press, 1998.

Mernissi, Fatima. Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood. MA: Perseus Books, 1994


Les Sindbads Marocains: Voyage dans le Maroc civique. Rabat: Editions Marsan, 2004.

article: Rahmouni, Hassan. “A Gender Breakthrough in Contemporary Muslim Morocco,” unpublished paper. Casablanca, 2003.

Mir-Hosseini, Ziba. The Construction of Gender in Islamic Legal Thought and Strategies for Reform. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden 2003.

Primary Reading: Oulehri, Touria. La Répudiée. Casablanca: Afrique-Orient Press, 2001.

Film : In My Mother’s House

Lecture and Discussion: “The Traps of Traditionalism”

—What do Moroccan women face when they buck the system?

Week 3: Women, Gender and Language in Morocco

Theoretical Readings (excerpts from):

Sadiqi, Fatima. Women, Gender and Language in Morocco. Leiden: Brill, 2003.

Bennouiss, Fatima. Moroccan Female Power Negotiation. Fez: L’Media, 2001.

Articles: Sadiqi, Fatima. “The Language of Women in the city of Fès, Morocco.” International Journal of Society and Language 112 (1995): 63-79

— -.”The Spread of English in Morocco.” International Journal of Society and Language 87 (1991): 99-114

Ennaji, Moha. “Language Planning in Morocco and Changes in Arabic,” International Journal of Society and Language 74 (1988): 9-39.

Primary Reading: Zahy, Soumya. On ne rentrera peut-être plus jamais chez nous. Casablanca: EDDIF, 2001

Lecture and Discussion: “Politics and Patriarchy: Notes from Moroccan Women in Politics”

— -The work of Nezha Squali, Parliament member

Week 4: Illiteracy, Poverty, Religion: The Psychological Traumas and Socio-Cultural Hurdles of Moroccan Women

Theoretical Readings [excerpts]:

Casablanca, Alger, Tunis: Femmes Unies Contre la Violence. Casablanca, 2001.

Ech-Channa, Aïcha. Miseria. Casablanca: Editions Le Fennec, 2004.

El-Khayat, Rita. La Folie : El Hank-Casablanca. Casablanca, EDDIF, 2000.

Yassine, Nadia. Toutes voiles dehors. Casablanca : Le Fennec, 2003.

Primary Reading : Bellefqih, Anissa. Je ne verrai pas l’automne flaboyant : roman. Paris : L’Harmattan, 2003

Rfaly, Linda. Grain de folie : Vendredi 16 mai : Le cri d’une autre jeunesse. Casablanca : Afrique Orient, 2004.

Lecture and Discussion : « Muslim Women and Human Rights: Moroccan Women and Socio-Cultural Trauma »

— -Notes from Aziza Elhabati, Lawyer for Human Rights

Week 5: Moroccan Women’s Voices: Exile, Immigration & Historical Memory

Theoretical Readings [excerpts]:

Daoud, Zakya. Travailleurs marocains en France : mémoire restituée. Tangiers : Tarik éditions, 2003.

Primary Texts :

Oufkir, Fatima. Les Jardins du roi. Paris: Michel Lafont, 2000.

Oufkir, Malika and Michèle Fitoussi. La Prisonnière. Paris: Grasset, 1999

Houari, Leila. Zeida de Nulle Part. Paris : L’Harmattan, 1985.

Lecture and Discussion : « Ici—Là-bas: The Pitfalls of Historical Memory »

— -Closing Remarks



August 2004



 



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