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An entertainingly satirical vision of today's academy, in which a woman academic lands, with her cat, in a university, largely populated by males.
Hisland takes place in a fictional universe--the Islands of Ac-Ac, whose pride and joy is the educational institution of Ac-Ac U. Into this traditionally male world fall the narrator and her feline companion. Their attempted integration into this dystopian world leads the reader on a self-conscious and role-questioning journey.
"This comic romp through some fanciful but not entirely unfamiliar groves of academe manages to touch on aspects of academic life ranging from the rhetoric of course descriptions to the hypocrisies of promotion--all perceived from the point of view of a female interloper on hallowed male territory. Members of the large real-life category of female interlopers will take special delight in this wicked yet good-humored satire, but everyone who has ever set foot in an academic institution can enjoy and chuckle at the expertly crafted adventures of M/M and her wise, companionable cat." -- Patricia Meyer Spacks, author of Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind "Malti-Douglas creates a counter-utopia constructed as a comic-strip through which one can successfully reach the seeming absurdity of any of our institutions or, for that matter, of any human occupation, if one agrees to play her game with a parodic and magnifying counter-mirror. She does it with intelligence, a broad smile, and a lot of fun." -- Etel Adnan, author of The Indian Never Had a Horse & Other Poems
"I could not stop laughing! Hisland brilliantly and hilariously uncovers the essence of the American university scene. It is a beautiful combination of wit and satire." -- Nawal El Saadawi, author of Woman at Point Zero
"Hisland is imaginative, intriguing, and a very fine read. I read it with enthusiasm and more than a few laughs. The author weaves together several stories simultaneously, and the subtlety of the feminist politics and criticism is extremely well done." -- Zillah Eisenstein, author of The Color of Gender: Reimaging Democracy
Fedwa Malti-Douglas is The Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University. She is the author of several books, including Structures of Avarice: The Bukhala' in Medieval Arabic Literature; Blindness and Autobiography: al-Ayyam of Taha Husayn; Woman's Body, Woman's Word: Gender and Discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing; and Men, Women, and God(s): Nawal El Saadawi and Arab Feminist Poetics; and co-author (with A. Douglas) of Arab Comic Strips: Politics of an Emerging Mass Culture.
Table of Contents
by Fedwa Malti-Douglas
Ac-Ac by M/M
In Which M/M Lands on Her Feet
In Which M/M Arrives at Ac-Ac U.
In Which M/M Gets Her Bearings
In Which M/M Wonders: Why Be a Visiting Professor at Ac-Ac U. When She Could Be at Pholly U.?
In Which M/M Gets a Lecture on Academic Hierarchies
In Which M/M Has a Second Landing at Ac-Ac: A Home Department
In Which M/M Describes Her Third Landing of Sorts
In Which M/M Gets Her First Introduction to DULL
In Which M/M Attends the Open Faculty Meeting
In Which M/M Participates in the Induction into the Order of the Cravates
In Which M/M Feels Over-Received
In Which M/M Decides Which Course to Audit
In Which M/M Goes through the Faculty List at DULL in Search of Someone
In Which M/M Has a Heart to Heart Talk with Herself about Her Future at Ac-Ac U.
In Which M/M Meets the Dean
In Which M/M Takes Steps to Set Up the Legendary Meeting with the Women Faculty at Ac-Ac U.
In Which M/M Attends Her First DULL Faculty Meeting
In Which M/M Introduces S. P.-T. Directly to the Intellectual Life of DULL
In Which M/M Finally Meets the Women Faculty of Ac-Ac U.
In Which M/M Is Treated to Some Great Stories
In Which M/M Becomes a Member of COOC
In Which M/M Gets Introduced to the COOC
In Which M/M Listens to Some Tie History
In Which M/M Tells the COOCs the Significance of Ties
In Which M/M Debates with the COOCs
In Which M/M Debates Again with the COOCs
In Which M/M Reads the DULL Newsletter
In Which M/M Has Second Thoughts about Her Visiting Appointment
In Which M/M Attends the Muted Language Society Award Ceremony
In Which M/M Meets the Women Faculty Once Again
In Which M/M Has a Nightmarish Experience
In Which M/M Is Back in the Guest House
In Which M/M Muses about Her Social Life as a Woman at Ac-Ac U.
In Which M/M Finally Attends the Promotion Committee Meeting
In Which M/M Attends the Chairs' Meeting
In Which M/M Makes an Important Decision
In Which M/M Has Her Dream Come True
in Which M/M Attends an Oral Examination in LAC
In Which M/M Learns about Ac-Ac U.'s Provost
In Which M/M Delivers Her Final Blow
In Which M/M Presents Her Theory about Ac-Ac
In Which M/M Announces Her Departure
In Which M/M Considers Future Possibilities
In Which M/M Is Not Given an Opportunity to Make a Promise