The title of this essay is inspired by Opening the Gates: Over a Century of Arab Feminist Writing, which miriam cooke and I published in 1990. The product of a generation—and harvest of many generations—the book continues to have a life of its own. This essay is a story of research and scholarship on Arab women’s feminist writings scattered over time and place, of friendship and collaboration that began in our student days, and of continuing work on parallel trajectories.

miriam and I met in Oxford at the end of the 1970s when she was starting her DPhil at St. Antony’s College and I had just finished mine. miriam took her degree in Arabic literature, and I did mine in Middle East history. As emerging feminist scholars in the 1980s when second-wave feminist movements were spreading...

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