On November 13, the Middle East Center hosted a talk by Nova Robinson, Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Seattle University entitled: “Syrian ‘Sisters of Men’ and the Gendering of Arab Internationalism, 1938-1949.”
Robinson discussed the development of women’s rights movements in pre- and post-colonial Greater Syria, and the implications these movements had in the “Internationalism” of newly formed Arab states. In January 1938, women’s rights activists from Greater Syria orchestrated a transnational petition campaign to create a position for an “Eastern” representative on the League of Nations’ Committee of Experts on the Legal Status of Women. In March 1949, the UN received another coordinated petition campaign from Lebanese women’s rights activists calling for the UN to accommodate non-Western women’s rights systems in its definition of international women’s rights. While both campaigns were unsuccessful, this talk explores how they shaped the governing structures of independent Syria and Lebanon and the larger post-war international system.
Nova Robinson is an Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Seattle University. Her work is situated at the intersection of Middle Eastern history, women and gender history, and the history of international governance. This talk was sponsored by the Middle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, and was part of the 2017 Fall Quarter “Voices in Middle East Studies” lecture series.