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This study explores Palestinian women’s performativity regarding the thob as a form of agency. As wearers, designers, and advocators of the Palestinian thob, they gain authority over the discursive inventions of cultural and national symbols. They reconfigure what has been historically connected with tradition and antiquity into contemporary and fashionable. As their traditional –which is yet dynamic- dress and as a sign of their various identities, Palestinian cultural clothing and other types of ornamentation serve as means for Palestinian women in the US to enlarge their social role in addition to generating new meanings as “expressive culture of the community” for a displaced population.


Presented at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, November 2019. Publisher link. ©2019 The Author. Used with permission.

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