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Guest Editor’s Note

Guest Editor’s Note Biography has long featured in Arabic and Islamic literature, women contributing as both subjects and authors. As a genre, it has contributed to disciplines and fields including history, sociology, ethnography, psychology and, of course, women and gender studies. In recognition of the broad contribution of biography to the understanding of women’s lives and influence in Arab and Islamic contexts, this special issue explores not just the lives of Muslim women in the modern era, but the theoretical and methodological significance of biographical research and writing to broader historical investigations. By definition, a biography is a micro-history. Further, it is one that naturally tends to focus on the extraordinary. However, various scholars have lately shown the importance of the micro in shedding new light on the macro when suitably approached. In essence, that light depends on the scholar consciously connecting the individual to the ethnic/national, religious, regional or global. It is about showing how the life of the one is intertwined with that of the many, even though it remains a unique experience shaped by various particularisms. When the biographies focus on women, as in this volume, the obvious first point of contact between the lived experience of one http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hawwa Brill

Guest Editor’s Note

Hawwa , Volume 14 (3): 237 – Dec 5, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Other
ISSN
1569-2078
eISSN
1569-2086
DOI
10.1163/15692086-12341311
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Biography has long featured in Arabic and Islamic literature, women contributing as both subjects and authors. As a genre, it has contributed to disciplines and fields including history, sociology, ethnography, psychology and, of course, women and gender studies. In recognition of the broad contribution of biography to the understanding of women’s lives and influence in Arab and Islamic contexts, this special issue explores not just the lives of Muslim women in the modern era, but the theoretical and methodological significance of biographical research and writing to broader historical investigations. By definition, a biography is a micro-history. Further, it is one that naturally tends to focus on the extraordinary. However, various scholars have lately shown the importance of the micro in shedding new light on the macro when suitably approached. In essence, that light depends on the scholar consciously connecting the individual to the ethnic/national, religious, regional or global. It is about showing how the life of the one is intertwined with that of the many, even though it remains a unique experience shaped by various particularisms. When the biographies focus on women, as in this volume, the obvious first point of contact between the lived experience of one

Journal

HawwaBrill

Published: Dec 5, 2016

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