Paris-Oxford Partnership Fellow
Marilyn Booth holds the Khalid bin Abdallahs Al Saud Chair for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, Oxford. Her scholarly interests include the history of feminist and anti-feminist writing and activism, especially of Egypt and the Ottoman Levant, and more generally, Arabophone intellectual and literary history, and historical translation studies.
In addition to works listed below, her books include Classes of Ladies of Cloistered Spaces: Writing Feminist History in fin-de-siècle Egypt (2015); May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt (2001); as editor, Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces (2010). In 2019, she published the edited collection Migrating Texts: Circulating Translations around the Ottoman Mediterranean; a second collection featuring more research by the Ottoman Translation Study Group will come out in 2022 (coedited with Claire Savina). She has translated many works of Arabic fiction into English; recently, Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies (2019 Man Booker International Prize), The Penguin’s Song and No Road to Paradise by Lebanese novelist Hassan Daoud, and Huda Barakat’s Voices of the Lost. Her translation of Jokha Alharthi’s more recent novel, Bitter Orange Tree, will come out in 2022. She is continuing her research on historical translation and is also translating two works of nineteenth-century fiction by Arabophone Ottoman women in Egypt.
History of Arab feminisms and anti-feminisms, Early history of the Arabic novel and theatre, Historical translation within and around the Ottoman Empire, including Arabic/French translation.
Rewriting French conduct literature in Arabic: Pedagogy and transculturation in Cairo and Paris, 1870s–1920s
Amongst many French texts translated (and creatively adapted) into Arabic from 1870 were conduct-focused books used as school readers. Booth’s project studies this translational process within histories of education and feminism in France, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire. How did translation create new texts and audiences? What notions of modernity, gender, social interaction, communal relations, and class did they embed? How were transnationally circulating repertoires of rhetoric and meaning modulated by interactions with European colonial projects?