The Gender of History, Fatmagül Berktay
Metis Nonfiction
Women’s Studies
13 x 19.5 cm, 232 pp
ISBN No. 975-342-419-1

1st Print: September 2003
2nd Print: September 2006
Fatmagül Berktay
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About the Author
Fatmagül Berktay, Chair of Political Science Department in the Faculty of Political Sciences of Istanbul University, received her MA and PhD in Political Science from University of Ankara. She also holds an MA degree in Women’s Studies (University of York, UK). She has been active in the Turkish women’s movement since 1983, acted as “Adviser” to the State Minister in charge of Women’s Affairs in 1994-95 and represented Turkey in various international forae including the European Council as a member of the Experts Committee for Equality Between Women and Men, and the United Nations as Turkey’s representative in the “Final Declaration Committee” at Beijing UN 4th Women’s World Conference. She is a founding member of the Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey as well as the Foundation for Social Research, and a member of the general board of Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation. In 1994 Berktay published a collection of essays, Kadın Olmak, Yaşamak, Yazmak (Being a Woman, Living and Writing). Her second book, Tektanrılı Dinler Karşısında Kadın (1996), a comparative study on the status of women in monotheistic religions, has been published in English by Black Rose Books as Women and Religion (1998). Her latest book Tarihin Cinsiyeti (The Gender of History) is a collection of essays on feminist historiography.
Other Books from Metis
Tektanrılı Dinler Karşısında Kadın (Women and Religion ), 2002 (Women and Religion ), 2002

Fatmagül Berktay
The Gender of History

Tarihin Cinsiyeti

Rights sold:
Arabic: Dar Kreidieh

The fact that there are no fixed identities, that what we call identity is a construct which is continuously being deconstructed and reconstructed renders identity politics highly irrelevant. On the other hand, the “marginalized” who are still struggling to reclaim their subjectivity cannot accept that everything, including their subjective positions, is nothing but a “language game” – the powerful who have appropriated the world keep reminding them of this each day. This complicated and difficult situation means that we shall have to deal with the intriguing problems of identity, self and subjectivity for a long time to come. This is the central problem that Fatmagül Berktay's book of articles addresses. Berktay says: "Who knows, perhaps one day in an intellectual and political climate where difference is not confined within binary oppositions, the notion of 'reason and humanity beyond gendered stereotypes' which today only exists as a remote utopia may turn into reality. But until that day, who can blame us for pursuing the quest for a gendered history, theory and philosophy?”

A complete synopsis is available in English.
Introduction: In Pursuit of a Gendered History and Theory
A Different Perspective in History Writing
Women’s Human Rights: A New Approach in International Human Rights Law
Is Cultural Relativism a Way Out?
Feminism from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic
Islamist Woman’s Identity and the Limits of Identity Politics
Black Widows, Worms, Monkeys, Poison Ivies, etc.: Construction of Women in 19th
     Century Popular Culture
The Point Where East Meets West: Construction of “Woman’s Image”
Writing Oneself: Difference Does Create Difference
Freedom in Heidegger and Arendt: A Point of Reconciliation
Behice Boran: A Woman with “Authority to Decide”
The Desire to Watch the Stars Freely: Suat Dervish
Witches of Salem: Naming One’s Self Just for Once
Şükran Yücel, Cumhuriyet Kitap Eki, 30 October 2003
“As a feminist theorist Fatmagül Berktay does not fall into the trap of reductionism or of assigning ready-made prescriptions. On the contrary she emphasizes the importance of listening to and understanding the voices of the ‘others’ and the need to create a common discourse which will take into account the differences. The Gender of History is an important reference book that should be read both by women and men. It daringly and clearly yet also elegantly expresses the women’s perspective which even some intellectual women find more secure to ignore, and it explores the possibility for a gendered theory, history and philosophy with a scientific and rational language without ever denying the importance of feelings and subjectivity.”

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