lundi 31 décembre 2012



Titre: Women and Knowledge in the Mediterranean
Ouvrage dirigé par: Fatima SADIQI
Routledge, 2012.

This volume addresses the ancestral but poorly understood relationship between women and knowledge in the Mediterranean and argues that women have not only contributed to the production of conventional knowledge but have also produced knowledges of their own.
The Mediterranean, as a concept, is valid from the perspective of the book because it both marks a geographical area and shapes the ways of life of the peoples of the Southern Mediterranean and those of North Africa and the Levant. According to Redfield (1967), Schneider (1971), Pitt-Rivers (1977), and Peristiany (1976), the peoples of the two shores of the Mediterranean do not only belong to the same environment, but they also share significant socio-cultural traits such as the central place of the family in social organization, a rigid space-based patriarchy, a saliency of kinship, local cults of patron saint, and an honor-and- shame principle underlying sexuality and reputation.
On the other hand, knowledge, as a concept, needs to transcend formal and canonical frontiers, to englobe women’s experiental knowledge and sense-making. In other words, the output by women of the Mediterranean, both scholarly and not, forces a more inclusive conceptualization of ‘knowledge’ that can accommodate women’s production, use, and moldings of knowledge under differing circumstances. The purpose of this volume is to highlight this particular knowledge and show that it both includes the canonical knowledge and extends it to cover a rich and versatile array of often untapped ways of producing meanings that fit and evolve according to specific times and circumstances.
The chapters of the volume address four themes: women and written knowledge; women and oral knowledge; women, legal, religious, and economic knowledge; and women and media knowledge. Mediterranean women’s written knowledge goes back to the Pharaonic era (Sadiqi et al, 2009), their oral knowledge has always been part and parcel of their everyday existence and constitutes part of the traditions, rituals and art that constitute the humanity’s intangible and universal heritage. In more recent times and with the advent of human rights and technology, women’s legal, religious, economic, as well as media knowledges have been developing in rather specific ways.
In all these types of knowledge, women tell their stories as women belonging to specific
environments but also as women sharing universal human traits. The Mediterranean women’s
expressions of knowledge are at the same time heterogeneous and complex, but also deeply human and telling. Although (or because of being) absent from the formal accounts of official histories, these voices challenge the mainstream narratives of knowledge and call for a new conceptualization of the term. The four themes unravel women’s use, production, adaptation, and creation of specific and universal knowledge(s). They show that Mediterranean women’s knowledge-making forces a redifinition of the concept of knowledge. Not all the authors originate from the Mediterranean region but all the texts deal with women’s knowledges in the region.

Aucun commentaire: