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The Radical Potential of Mothering During the Egyptian Revolution

220 Eggers Hall (Strasser Legacy Room)

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Middle Eastern Studies Program 


The Radical Potential of Mothering During the Egyptian Revolution

A Talk by Nadine Naber, Professor, Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Global Asian Studies Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

This talk is based upon ethnographic research with leftist women activists who participated in the Egyptian revolution of 2011 while mothering young children. It seeks to “unsentimentalize mothering” by exploring its radical potentials within the context of revolution. I argue that mothering, among my interlocutors, is constituted by a radical potential precisely because—contrary to what mainstream narratives and widely accepted feminist accounts would suggest—they do not experience mothering and revolution as conflictual. Instead, their mothering is a practice of resistance to state violence rather than a sentimentalized identity confined to domestic space that supports the nation.

Dr. Nadine Naber is an award winning author, public speaker and activist on the topics of racial justice; gender justice; women of color feminisms; Arab and Muslim feminisms; Arab Americans; and Muslim Americans. She has authored/co-edited five books: Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism; Race and Arab Americans; Arab and Arab American Feminisms, winner of the Arab American Book Award 2012 (Syracuse University Press, 2010); The Color of Violence (Duke University Press, 2016); and Towards the Sun (Tadween Publishing/George Mason University, 2018). Dr. Naber began is a scholar-activist and has served on boards such as  the Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC); INCITE! (a network of feminists of color organizing to end state violence and violence in our homes and communities); the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the Social Justice Initiative at UIC. As a Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2003-2013), Dr. Naber co-founded the academic program, Arab and Muslim American Studies. In 2013, she moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago as a Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Global Asian Studies. At UIC, she is the faculty founder of the first center on a college campus serving the needs of Arab American students in the United States--The Arab American Cultural Center.  Dr. Naber has been an expert author for the United Nations, has been a TEDX speaker on the topic of Arab Feminism, and is a distinguished speaker for associations such as the American Studies Association.

Sponsored by Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Middle Eastern Studies Program, Department of English, Humanities Center, International Relations Program, Department of Women's & Gender Studies, and Department of Political Science.

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