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Dr Abir Hamdar

Formerly at Lancaster University

Abir Hamdar

Research Interests

Research Interests: Abir Hamdar completed a PhD on the representation of female physical illness and disability in Arabic literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She has published a number of critical articles and short stories on gender, illness/disability, exile, and jihad. Her play "The Silicone Bomb" was first staged in Gulbenkian Theatre at the Lebanese American University in March 2009.It has since been performed at other theatre festivals and venues in Beirut, Alexandria and Amman. In the fall of 2010, Hamdar was lecturer at the American University of Beirut where she taught a course on 'Illness Narratives: Arab & Eng' and another on 'Medieval, Islamic and Renaissance Civilization'.

Book Chapters:

- "The Crisis of Iraqi Masculinity in Betool Khedairi's Ghayeb."Masculinity in Middle Eastern Literature and Film, ed. Lahoucine Ouzgane (Routledge, 2008).

- "Exile, Home and Identity: Constructing Alternative Spaces in Hamida Na'na's The Homeland." in Crisis and Memory: The Representation of Space in Modern Levantine Narrative, ed. Ken Seigneury (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2003).

Journal Articles:

- "Female Physical Illness and Disability in Arab Women's Writing." Feminist Theory. Special Issue on Arab Feminisms. Ed. Anastasia Valassopoulos. 11.2 (2010)

- "Representations of Women, Gender and Islamic Cultures in Films: Lebanon." Encyclopaedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Online. Forthcoming 2010.

- "Jihad of Words: Gender and Contemporary Karbala Narratives." Yearbook of English Studies 2009, Special Issue on Literature and Religion. Ed. Andrew Tate. 39.1&39.2 ( 2009).

- "Masculinity, Manhood and Machismo in Radwan el-Kashef's Film Arak el-Balah." Al-Raida, Masculinity (Winter/Spring 2004).

- "Marriage, Madness and Murder in Alia Mamdouh's Mothballs' and Salwa Bakr'a The Golden Chariot." Al-Raida, Women and Sexuality (Spring/Summer 2001).

- "The Gender Sensitive Fact File: Profiles of the Arab League Countries." Al-Raida, Arab Women's Movements, XX.100 (Winter 2003): 93-137.

- "Women Centers in Jordan." Al-Raida XVII-XVIII.90/91(2000): 15-19.

Book Review

Rev. of In the House of Silence: Autobiographical Essays by Arab Women Writers. Ed. Fadia Faqir. Al-Raida XVII.89 (Spring 2000).

Short Stories:

- ''The Smell of her Urine.'' MovingWorlds: Journal of Transcultural Writings. Forthcoming.

- "The Sushi Meal."Brand Literary Magazine 5(Summer/Autumn 2009).

- "Under the Heat of the Scorching Sun." MovingWorlds: Journal of Transcultural Writings, Telling Stories, Telling Lives 6.1(2006).

- "The Hole Beside her Lady Zeinab." MovingWorlds: Journal of Transcultural Writings, Pillars of Light: Exploring Muslim Cultures 8.1(2008).


- "The Silicone Bomb."CALLALOO: Journal of African Diaspora, Special Issue on the Middle East and North Africa. 32.4(2010).

- "The Silicone Bomb." First staged in Gulbenkian Theatre at the Lebanese American University of Beirut Theatre, March 12, 2009. Directed by Lina Abyad. Further performances at the Hamana Festival in Lebanon, the 12th International Theatre Festival at the Lebanese American University and Madina Theatre in Beirut. It has also been performed at the 7th Creative Independent Forum in Alexandria and the Amman International Theatre Festival AITF in Jordan.

Reviews in the Press:The Silicone Bomb (translated into Arabic as Bombet Silicon)

- The play is a clear and precise psychological study of women under danger� the playwright succeeded in presenting a subject which, despite its sensitivity, found a very positive reaction amongst the audience. As- Safir newspaper.

- This is an honest �. Feminine play par excellence. Al-liwaa newspaper.

-The script brilliantly transmits the world of young women...Dar al-Hayat

- 'Silicone Bomb' was given a rapturous reception at the Alexandria gathering...this dynamically performed piece highlights the absurd proximity of the daily impact of war...Qantara.de

Papers Presented:

- "Death, Illness and Disability: The Crisis of Iraqi Masculinity in Betool Khedairi's Ghayeb." Making Sense of: Health, Illness and Disease Conference. Mansfield College, Oxford. 9-12 July, 2007.

- "Becoming or Unbecoming Women in Modern Muslim Societies: A Case Study of Female Bildungsroman in Iranian Merzieh Meshkini's film The Day I Became a Woman." Second Christina Conference on Women's Studies. University of Helsinki, Helsinki. 3-5 March, 2005.

- "Monolingualism, Identity Crisis and Language Loss in Elias Khoury's Yalo." Second International Language, Communication, Culture Conference. Beja, Portugal. 25-26 November, 2004.

Short Story Readings:

- "The Smell of Her Urine." Glocal Imaginaries: Writing/Migration/Place Conference. Lancaster University and Whitworth Gallery. 11 Sept., 2009.

- "The Hole Beside Her Lady Zainab." Fourth Global Conference on Making Sense of: Dying and Death. Mansfield College, Oxford. 9-12 July, 2007.

-"Under the Heat of the Scorching Sun." 'Reading Spiritualities': Constructing and Representing Spiritualities Through the Medium of Text Conference. 20-22 Jan. 2006. Lancaster University.