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Who counts as a feminist? In interwar Algeria, as commentators debated the status of women in newspapers, cafes, and on theater stages, many imagined a future Algeria in which women took on powerful new social roles. Such thinkers took inspiration from the Middle East, challenged French colonial ideology, and reframed Islam as modern and feminist. While many commentators saw women's advancement as critical to a prosperous future for Algeria, others feared women's education alone could disrupt Algerian social cohesion. This talk will map how feminist imperatives can be simultaneously encouraged and constrained, sometimes by the same voices, as modeled by the Algerian case. Dr. Sara Rahnama is an Assistant Professor of History at Morgan State University and recently a John Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Her first book,The Future is Feminist: Women and Social Change in Interwar Algeria, examines how writing about women became a language for Algerians to imagine prosperous, modern futures in spite of the constraints of colonialism.

This event is free and open to the public but guests must be vaccinated and boosted to attend. Masks are strongly encouraged indoors. Thank you for helping to keep our community safe!

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  • Lilly Odhner

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