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Soft ForceWomen in Egypt's Islamic Awakening$
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Ellen Anne McLarney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158488

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158488.001.0001

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Covering in the Public Eye

Covering in the Public Eye

Visualizing the Inner I

(p.143) Chapter 4 Covering in the Public Eye
Soft Force

Ellen Anne McLarney

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the life and writings of three main personalities who contributed to shaping an aesthetics of veiling in disparate but analogous ways. In their writings and their performances of a public self, these writers construct a sense of the psychic space that the outward sign of the veil helps cultivate. This psychic space, this spiritual interiority, is created by veiling but also by the words, discourses, narratives, and images of the veil in public culture and public circulation. Each writer has been profoundly invested in the politics of performance—in television (Kariman Hamza), film (Shams al-Barudi), and theater and cultural criticism (Safinaz Kazim). These three early exemplars were pivotal in formulating the ideological and conceptual contours of the genre. They set down motifs and described psychic transformations that would become classic signposts on the path to veiling. Their narratives envisioned new kinds of Islamic media in which the visual signifier of the veil would become ascendant.

Keywords:   veiling, Islam, Kariman Hamza, Shams al-Barudi, Safinaz Kazim, psychic transformations

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