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Apology or no Apology: Indigenous Models of Subjection and Emancipation in Pakistani Anglophone Fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Aroosa Kanwal
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of International Women's Studies
Issue number6
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)118-131
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This survey paper focuses on Pakistani Anglophone literary narratives that examine the multiple identities of victimized women as opposed to the commonly endorsed essentialist and reductive argument that is too easily conscripted into post-9/11 global discourses surrounding women of colour. In the context of the global hegemony of Western scholarship, my purpose in this paper is to foreground the simultaneous liberation and subjection, centricity and marginality, of Pakistani women. I argue that it is important to situate third world women’s subjection as well as agency in relation to the class, regional, ethnic and religious diversities that inform the degree and nature of freedom and constraints that women experience. In addition to this, urban, rural, tribal and feudal environments also inform the plurality of victimized identities as well as of women’s agency. Against this backdrop, I read Pakistani literary narratives as acts of breaking through the Eurocentric monopolization of a reductive one-dimensional image of the Muslim world by emphasizing the need to situate the subjectivities of Pakistani women within community-based relationships and responsibilities, both of which have intrinsic value in Muslim culture. In so doing, I emphasize the importance of incorporating in these dominant discourses an exclusively Pakistani-Muslim feministic perspective that considers and claims pluralistic alternatives.