Lost or gained in translation: Fatima Mernissi's harem, lies, and autobiography


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 3:00pm to Thu, 06/30/2022 - 2:52am

This talk focuses on Fatima Mernissi's memoir, first published in English as Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood in 1994; a French version followed two years later. Though she did not do the French translation herself, the title page specifies that Mernissi revised and adapted it. The most telling difference between both versions is a lengthy footnote that puts into question the very genre the narrative claims to belong to. This talk examines the differences between Mernissi’s French and English versions of her text in the context of third world autobiographies for the first world market.

Dr. Bourget researches Francophone literature and cinema from the Arab world, with a focus on Islam in literature, Islam in France, politics and literature, history and literature, and religion and conflicts.  Her publications include Coran et Tradition dans la littérature maghrébine (Karthala, 2002) and articles in various academic journals.

Department of French and Italian, University of Arizona

MENAS Colloquium Series
Spring 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012
3pm in Marshall 490