Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Jane Ku


feminist, life writing, narratives, Orientalist discourse, postcolonial theory, Saudi Woman



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis relies on feminist and postcolonial theory, to explore through life writing: I Tear the Burqa ... I See, by Huda Al-Daghfaq (2011); Memoirs of a Saudi Woman, by Samia Al-Amoudi (2015); Past, Single, Masculine, by Omaima Al-Khamis (2011); and Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, by Manal Al-Sharif (2017) how Saudi women constructed themselves and deployed their right to speak. I explore the narratives that they employed to justify their writing and their perspectives and the different types of authority they used to give themselves the right to speak out. Through these texts, I argue that Orientalist discourse is not simply internalized; rather, these women positioned themselves in and used Orientalist framework to interpret or make claims to speak. In doing so, they reproduce Orientalism but also reframes it.