Comedic resilience : Arab women’s diaries of national struggles and dissident humour

Cheurfa, Hiyem (2019) Comedic resilience : Arab women’s diaries of national struggles and dissident humour. Comedy Studies, 10 (2). pp. 183-198. ISSN 2040-610X

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This article explores the potential strategic functions of humour in diaries that record national struggles by contemporary Arab women, namely Palestinian author Suad Amiry's Sharon and my Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries (2006) and Egyptian writer Mona Prince's Revolution is my Name: an Egyptian Woman's Diary from Eighteen Days in Tahrir (2014). Drawing on existing research into postcolonial and feminist comedy, the article argues that the use of humour to articulate revolutionary moments constitutes what I describe as 'comedic resilience' through which comedy is intentionally, reflectively and strategically deployed by the authors under discussion as a dissident strategy to intersectional dominant structures of power to which Arab women are subjected. This subjugating, concentric power structure comprises colonial/state hegemony, nationalist dogmatism, local and external patriarchies and cultural/representational silencing. Equally, I consider the ways in which the intersection of war diary-writing and comedy problematises the representational literary traditions of national struggles. Using humour in contexts where they are expected to grieve, the authors under scrutiny rework the conventional understanding of war life-writing and with it the role and position of Arab women in militarised contexts of conflicts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Comedy Studies
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Comedy Studies on 3/6/2019, available online:
?? arab humourarab womenegyptian revolutionlife-writingpalestinian life-writingresistance literature ??
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Deposited On:
09 Aug 2019 09:10
Last Modified:
07 Nov 2023 01:02