In this compendium of Syrian television drama from the 1960s to today, Rebecca Joubin examines love and marriage in the popular genre of musalsalat (television miniseries) as metaphors for state and society. Joubin approaches musalsalat as literary texts through which writers voice their critique of the regime and subvert its official narratives. Based on her research on over 250 dramas and extensive fieldwork in Sahnaya from 2002 to 2008, she illuminates the centrality of gender to these literary texts and argues that the power dynamics of love, sexuality, and marriage provide an “outlet for the expression of oppositional consciousness” (12). Joubin is primarily interested in the allegorical relationship between patriarchal family structures that subjugate women and an authoritarian state that oppresses its subjects. She traces this relationship through numerous plot synopses of musalsalat that she groups into successive...

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