Date of Award

5-13-2022

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Megan Sinnott

Second Advisor

Dr. Chamara Kwakye

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Evans

Abstract

This thesis focuses on Iranian women’s memoirs to analyze the use of transnational women’s autobiographies in the feminist classroom. It will explore the uses of memoir and autobiography to teach women’s experiences outside of the United States in the feminist classroom, why these narratives are so attractive and how they can also slip into ideologies that perpetuate Eastern/Western dichotomies and hierarchies. It will use a transnational feminist lens to analyze popular Iranian memoirs Persepolis and Reading Lolita in Tehran to evaluate how and why these texts are used in feminist academic spaces to teach American students about Iranian women. Additionally, this thesis will use Iran as a case study to interrogate and question how feminist academia can perpetuate ideologies of Western exceptionalism.

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