PhD defence in sociology: Imad Rasan
The public defence of Imad Rasan's doctoral thesis "Women in the Public Sphere in Egypt 2011-2014" will take place on Thursday 26 January at 13:15 in the Palaestra Auditorium in Lund (Palaestras hörsal, nedre).
External reviewer is Professor Mariz Tadros from the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.
- Professor Johanna Essewald, Department of Sociology, Lund University
- Associate Professor Ehab Galai, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
- Professor Kristina Riegert, School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University
Main Supervisor and Chair Person of the defence: Associate Professor Christopher Mathieu, Department of Sociology, Lund University. Supervisor: Senior lecturer Abdulhadi Khalaf, Department of Sociology, Lund University.
Imad Rasan's own word on his thesis
Through interviews, many documents and secondary data, this dissertation investigates how fifty-four women activists participated in the public sphere in Egypt from the outbreak of the 2011 uprising to the re-emergence of the authoritarian regime in 2014. The women activists studied in the dissertation took part in various counter-publics of social movements, opposition political parties, and civic engagement. Their aim was to influence the political scene at large by participating as women and as citizens in ways that placed their demands within the broader context of the national revolutionary discourse. At the same time, they increased their visibility through participation in the face of various constraints, including the patriarchal order and masculine norms at the family, community, and societal levels while challenging the regime’s repression.
The findings of the dissertation emphasise ‘participation’ as encompassing collectivity – which here refers to the process of accessing the public sphere – and visibility – which refers to the content of this participation thereafter. The findings give us a new perspective on how women pushed gender boundaries in different contexts in the public sphere and how they developed a new agency through which they employed different strategies to overcome their exclusion and marginalisation. The findings show how they consciously resisted acting and being portrayed as agents of a liberal/secular Western discourse or submitting to cultural nationalists and Islamists who regard them as victims of an anticolonial nationalist discourse.