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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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Fann wa-Fiṭra: Art and Instinct

Fann wa-Fiṭra: Art and Instinct

(p.255) Epilogue Fann wa-Fiṭra: Art and Instinct
Soft Force

Ellen Anne McLarney

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Bint al-Shatiʾ's Omdurman lecture “The Arab Literary Woman Yesterday and Today,” where she reflects at length on women's literary and intellectual participation in public life. She also talks about (romantic) affect and an instinct for the divine—two concepts, wijdān and fiṭra, that she weaves together. She connects affect to the “law of instinct and the model (the sunna) of nature”—what has been fertile ground, she declares, for woman>'s “literary existence” in Arab and Islamic history. Fiṭra is profoundly gendered in the writings analyzed in this book.

Keywords:   Fann wa-Fiṭra, Bint al-Shatiʾ, Islamic poetics, Islamic literature

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