Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Romance Languages and Literature: French Language and Literature

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Considering the French protectorate in Morocco as a dynamic space for women's literary productions, I examine the writing of French women travelers (novelists, poets and journalists) in Morocco during the pre-colonial and colonial period. I then consider Moroccan women's novels composed in French in the 80s that revisited this historical period and reworked its many discourses. I argue that women travelers (1906-1936) wrote in a constrained colonial literary site in which they were required to follow the masculine hegemonic discourse and colonial mythology, albeit in a genre and style acceptable for women. The thesis also investigates how the Moroccan protectorate constituted a literary space of transgression due to the fluidity of its definition. I show that women writers were able to create a narrative where they could deconstruct the orientalist canon of the colonial discourse. I then conclude by arguing that Moroccan women writers produce a counter-discourse to the more dominant ones in this historical period and attempt to destroy much colonial and orientalist mythology. In this manner they make room for emerging voices; voices historically oppressed by a hegemonic Eurocentric and patriarchal discourse.


French (fr)

Chair and Committee

Stamos Metzidakis

Committee Members

Tili Boon Cuillé, Elizabeth C. Childs, Pascal Ifri, Pascale Perraudin


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