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Title: Dismantling Patriarchal Rhetoric, Constructing Female Agency: Representations of Women in the Works of Shirin Neshat
Authors: Fatma Alsayegh 
Supervisor: Dr. Yusur Wajih Almadani
Keywords: female gency, shirin neshat
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher:  Kuwait university - college of graduate studies
Abstract: This thesis analyzes selected works by Iranian artist and filmmaker, Shirin Neshat. Renowned for her creative and artistic collection of short video installations, film, and photography, Neshat explores the idea of womanhood within the Islamic context of Iran. The idea of womanhood is understood as a set of cultural concepts and trends that shape women’s identity and determine their social status in contemporary society. Accordingly, Neshat reconsiders throughout her works a number of religious and socio-political factors that have shaped women’s role and representation after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. She also investigates the patriarchal discourse that has supported women’s oppression and relegation to the margins of domesticity, providing at the end different opportunities for women to rerepresent themselves and express their opinions independently. The purpose of the thesis is to analyze the different ways Neshat counters the patriarchal practices in Iran in her film Women Without Men, in her photographic work, Women of Allah, and in four of her short video installations: Rapture, Turbulent, Soliloquy, and Fervor. The study suggests that Neshat’s representation of Iranian women undermines pervasive stereotypes and rigid cultural ideologies about women’s inferiority. The study concludes that Neshat’s idea of womanhood offers possible venues for women’s empowerment and agency.
Appears in Programs:0321 Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

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