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Writing fellowships for scholars and activists in Gendered Resistance - honorarium available

Deadline : 21/10/201

Credit :

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) is pleased to launch the fifth cycle of its New Paradigms Factory Program (NPF). The theme for this cycle is “Gendered Resistance: Ethical Practices in Oral Narratives”.

The NPF is a writing fellowship that aims at facilitating and supporting writing and publishing by activists and junior scholars. The NPF program is particularly interested in attracting activists and junior scholars from the Arab region who wish to write research-based essays targeting diverse academic and non-academic audiences, including activists, policy makers and/or the general public.

The NPF writing fellowship will support around twelve fellows residing in the Arab region. Selected fellows will be mentored by experienced activist-scholars for the writing and publishing of essays that critically reflect on dominant debates and offer alternative paradigms on the theme of Gendered Resistance while also reflecting on the ethical issues in oral narratives.

The NPF program aims at publishing the fellows’ essays in an ACSS special volume on gendered resistance. Two publications were produced from the program. In 2019, the ACSS published the essays of the NPF fellows from cycle 3 in its first issue titled “Gendered Resistance” (, and in 2021, fellows from cycle 4 will publish their essays in the second issue on Gendered Resistance.

This program is funded by a grant provided to the ACSS by the Open Society Foundation and supplemental funds from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Topics and Thematic Focus of the Fellowship

Oral history and the documentation, digitization and archiving of oral narratives, testimonials, eye-witness accounts, life stories, has become a key tool for activists and researchers in their efforts to resist gender-based discrimination and violence.

In its fifth cycle, the NPF program will focus on the ethics and practices of oral history in the study of gendered resistance. Applicants are expected to critically engage with efforts/projects/organizations that aim to combat gender-based discrimination and violence using oral history methodologies in order to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the ethical considerations at stake in oral history projects that resist gender-based discrimination and violence?

  2. What are the potentials and/or limits of oral history methodologies in countering hegemonic representations of gendered identities and realities?

  3. What constitutes gendered resistance in different contexts?

  4. How are the positionalities of researcher/activist vis a vis the narrator negotiated? Or how are power dynamics played out and negotiated between researcher/activist and the narrator?

Topics can cover:

  • Vulnerabilities and resistance of girls and young women to multiple forms of violence, including but not limited to domestic violence and violence in public spaces;

  • Gendered resistance of LGBT groups; people with disabilities; ethnic and linguistic groups; and refugees and migrants.

  • Gendered analysis of economic insecurities and livelihoods;

  • Gendered resistance during times of armed conflicts and state repression;

  • Initiatives and organizations that resist oppression from gendered perspectives;

  • Exploring the use of terms such ‘resistance’, ‘resilience’, ‘revolution’ and ‘struggle’ in their specific contexts;

  • Gendered spaces;

  • Gender-based policies and campaigns against gender-based violence;

  • Limits and potentials of feminist ethics of care.

Application Guidelines and Required Documents

Applicants are required to create an account and a Profile Page on the ACSS Applications Platform, then apply to the NPF writing fellowship using the online application form for the New Paradigm Factory Program. Applicants must provide the following supporting documents:

  • A detailed CV, including academic and non-academic publications

  • A one-page cover letter explaining their interest in the program and what they hope to get out of it.

  • A proof of nationality and residence in the Arab region

  • An essay proposal (5 - 6 pages) in which the applicant:

- Describes in detail the research she/he has done and the data collected, and how it is relevant to the theme. If the NPF essay is based on a completed MA thesis or BA work, applicant needs to provide an overview of the thesis, including the thesis statement, questions and methodology.

- Describes in detail how the applicant applied oral history as a methodology in his/her previously conducted research project.

- States the dominant paradigm she/he will be critiquing, such as a global development paradigm.

- Explains how the applicant’s research, work, or experience point to the limits of this paradigm.

- Explains other tools and methodologies being used.

- Suggests the target audience for the completed essay. This section can also include specific examples of non-academic publications in which they have already published or would like to publish. Even though the ACSS will be publishing the essays of NPF fellows, identifying a target audience will help us assess how applicants are thinking about the dissemination of their writing.

- Includes how the essay anticipates integrating conversations/debates with other activists and actors in the field.

- The final essay should not exceed 6 typed, double-spaced pages in length (12-point font).

  • An appendix in which applicants give evidence of research already conducted, or work already done (example: more information about thesis or research, research surveys, and interviews that applicants have conducted, human rights and UN reports that applicants are proposing to engage with). The appendix can also include, if available, essays already published in non-academic publications, including blogs and newspapers.

Application materials can be submitted in Arabic, French or English. Essays and attachments should be written in one of these languages.

Terms of the Writing Fellowship


  • This fellowship is an opportunity to network with editors of publications, as well as peers in the field. The ACSS will support NPF fellows to publish through a special volume that the ACSS will publish in June 2022, and that speaks to academic and non-academic audiences.

  • Selected fellows will be divided into groups of 3 or 4 and will be mentored by activist-scholars from the Arab region.

  • The NPF fellowship will extend over 9 months, starting October 2021 and ending June 2022 and will include two workshops with the mentors and a presentation at the ACSS Fifth Research Forum.

  • Mentors will organize regular meetings with the selected fellows held twice every month over skype or by phone.

Events to Participate in

  • Selected fellows must attend the first workshop to be held on November 8 to 12, 2021 in Beirut, meet their mentors and colleagues, plan their regular writing meetings, finalize their writing timeline and sign their contracts.

  • The second workshop will be held on February 7-11, 2022 in Beirut. By then, fellows must have revised their paper draft, and should be close to finalizing it. During this workshop, mentors will evaluate the papers and decide whether the fellow’s essay can be published in the ACSS special volume.

  • All fellows with their mentors will present their papers at the ACSS Fifth Research Forum, which is to take place in June 2022.

Towards the end of the fellowship, the ACSS will interview the NPF fellows about their projects. The interviews will be video-taped and published on ACSS website and social media outlets in preparation for the launch of the publication.


  • Final essays are expected to be around 15 pages long (5,000 words).

  • Fellows whose essays were selected by the mentors for inclusion in the ACSS special volume must submit their final essays by March 10, 2022.

  • Fellows whose essays will not be published in the ACSS special volume can publish in an outlet of their choice.

  • The final essays will be read and edited by both the mentors and a reviewer before the special volume is published in June 2022.

  • Each fellow will be asked to contribute an abstract of their project to be featured on the ACSS website.


  • An honorarium of $2,500 will be given to selected fellows. This program assumes that the applicant’s research has already been conducted, and therefore the honorarium is meant to compensate for writing time. The honorarium will be given in three installments, at the beginning, middle and end of the fellowship, upon submission of the final essay for publication.

Eligibility Criteria :

The fellowship will be awarded competitively to activists and junior scholars from the Arab region who meet the criteria described below.

  • Projects and Essays : Applicants must have already completed their research (whether recently or within the last ten years). This writing fellowship does not cover research costs. The program is open to activists who have more than five years of working experience in their field. Only applicants who applied oral history in their research will be considered eligible for this fellowship.

  • Nationality/Residence : Applicants must be citizens/nationals of an Arab country (defined as a member of the League of Arab States) - or refugees and/or stateless individuals from Arab countries. This fellowship is open only to activist-researchers or academics who are currently residing in the Arab region.

  • Educational Degree : Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in the social sciences, humanities or allied disciplines and must be actively engaged in social science debates and aware of current dominant paradigms and their limitations. PhD candidates and holders are not eligible to apply for this program.

  • Discipline : The program is open to any discipline in the social sciences and relevant parts of humanities and allied and interdisciplinary fields. These disciplines and fields include anthropology, demography, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, literary studies, art history, architecture, education, geography, law, public health, gender studies, cultural studies, media studies, development studies and urban studies. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.

Mentors :

Hoda Elsadda

Hoda Elsadda is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cairo University and an activist for women’s rights. She previously held a Chair in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at Manchester University (2005-2011), and was Co-Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World in the UK. She was Carnegie Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University in 2014-2015. In 1995, she co-founded the Women and Memory Forum, an Egyptian research organization that focuses on the production of knowledge on gender in Arab cultural history. She is currently the Chairperson of the Board of Governance of the organization. Her research interests are in the areas of gender in Arab cultural history, women’s rights, and oral narratives. Selected Publications:

  • “Traveling Critique: Anti-imperialism, Gender and Rights Discourses,” in Feminist Dissent, 3, 2018, pp.88-113.

  • Co-edited with Hanan Sabea. Oral History in Times of Change: Gender, Documentation and the Making of Archives. In Cairo Papers, 35:1. 2018.

  • Co-authored with Maissan Hassan. Bina’ wa nidal: min arshif al-haraka alniswiyya al-masriyya (Women build institutions/ women struggle: Selections from the archives of the Egyptian feminist movement). Cairo: The Women and Memory Forum, 2018.

  • “An Archive of Hope: Translating Memories of Revolution,” in Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution, edited by Mona Baker. London: Routledge, 2015.

  • Gender, Nation and the Arabic Novel: Egypt 1892-2008. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; and Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012.

Latifa El Bouhsini

Latifa El Bouhsini is a Professor of Higher Education at the Faculty of Education, Mohammed V University, Rabat. She specializes in Women's History and Gender Issues. Previously, she taught at the National Institute of Social Work in Tangiers (2008-2017), and supervised masters students at the Faculty of Law at Abdelmalek Saadi University on the subject of gender and the family, and masters students at the Faculty of Literature and Humanities in Rabat on “The History of the Moroccan Women’s Movement” in the context of the history of the present time. She coordinated a national project on the women's rights movement in Morocco (2014). She facilitated a large number of seminars, lectures and training workshops on gender issues, and the practices of Morocco on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (2000-2020). She was previously a member of the editorial board of the 8 March Women's newspaper (1985-1990), a member of the National Coordination Council for the Reform of the Personal Status Code (1992), and a founding member of a number of associations (The Union of Feminist Action - 1987 /The Moroccan Organization of Human Rights - 1988 / The Citizenship School of Political Studies - 2012). Publications :

  • L’histoire du mouvement des droits humains des femmes, approche historique et archivistique, coordination et contribution, appuyé par le CNDH et l’UE, novembre 2014.

  • Maroc : acquis et limites du mouvement des femmes dans un ouvrage collectif intitulé, « Etat des résistances dans le Sud Mouvements de femmes », éd, Syllepse, décembre 2015.

  • Une lutte pour l’égalité racontée par les féministes marocaines, la revue « Rives », Université d’Aixen Provence, mars 2016.

  • Fatéma Mernissi, parcours d’une intellectuelle, Insaniyat, Revue algérienne d’anthropologie et de sciences sociales, numéro 74, oct-déc 2016 ;

  • Evaluation du statut des mouvements de défense des droits des femmes en Afrique du Nord, ONUFEMMES, décembre 2018.

  • "Les rescapées de l'oubli dans les écrits et dans l'historiographie du Maroc entre le XIème et le XIVème siècle", Revue Héspéris Tamuda, Mars 2021

Elham Manea

Elham Manea is an associate Professor at the Political Science Institute, University of Zurich, a writer and human rights advocate. Her research focuses on countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Gender&politics in MENA region, Women under Islamic Laws; and Islamism. In 2010 she was appointed by the Swiss Federal Council as a Member of the Federal Commission for Women Affairs and in 2020 at the Federal Commission for Migration. She is the Vice President of the Swiss Federal Commission for Migration. She has published academic and non-fiction books in English, German, and Arabic in addition to two novels in Arabic: Echo (Saqi Books, 2005) and Sins (Saqi Books, 2008). Among her academic publications are The Arab State and Women’s Rights: The Trap of Authoritarian Governance (2011 Routledge); and Women and Shari’a Law: The Impact of Legal Pluralism in the UK (2016 I. B. Tauris)

Muzna Al-Masri

Muzna Al-Masri is an anthropologist, researcher and consultant and co-founder of the Ebla Research Collective. Her research interests include everyday political practice and clientelism, and the intersection of conflict and politics with humanitarian aid and energy. She holds am MA in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding from the Eastern Mennonite University and a PhD in Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has held postdoctoral fellowships from the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (2016-2017) and the Orient-Institut Beirut (2018) and is currently a Ford Foundation Global Fellow (2020-2021). She is also co-founding member of the Ethnography and knowledge in the Arab region Working Group and board member of Dawlaty, A Syrian Non-governmental organization. Publications:

  • 2020: Ahmad, Ali, Neil McCulloch, Muzna Al-Masri, and Marc Ayoub, “From dysfunctional to functional corruption: The politics of reform in Lebanon’s electricity sector” Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium.

  • 2020: Al-Masri, Muzna, Zeina Abla and Rana Hassan “Envisioning and contesting a new Lebanon? Actors, issues and dynamics following the October protest”. International Alert.

  • 2017: Al-Masri, Muzna. ‘Sensory Reverberations: Rethinking the Temporal and Experiential Boundaries of War Ethnography’. Contemporary Levant 2 (1). doi:10.1080/20581831.2017.1322206.

  • 2015-2017: Series of research reports on the conflict context and relationships between Syrian refugees and Lebanese community in various areas of Lebanon, including the Chouf Coastal Area, the Bekaa, Sahel Akkar, Marjaayoun and Hasbaya Qazas, Nabatieh & Bint Jbeil Qazas.

Timeline :

  • June 30, 2021: Application forms are available online.

  • October 21, 2021: Deadline for submissions.

  • September 2021: Decisions are communicated to applicants.

  • November 8 –12, 2021: First Mentoring Workshop to be held in Beirut depending on the situation of the pandemic. (The ACSS will cover the costs of attendance at the workshop.)

  • February 7 – 11, 2022: Second Mentoring Workshop to be held in Beirut depending on the situation of the pandemic. Mentors will make their final decisions on essays that will be published in the ACSS Special volume.(The ACSS will cover the costs of attendance at the workshop.)

  • March 10, 2022: Send final essays for publication in the ACSS Special volume.

  • March – May 2022: Reviewing, copyediting and finalizing the text and design of the ACSS special volume.

  • June 2022: Publishing the ACSS special volume on Gendered Resistance by the NPF Fellows.

  • June 2022: Publication launch and presentation by authors at the ACSS Fifth Research Forum to be held in a country in the Arab region.

Useful links :

  • For inquiries, please contact the ACSS Grants and Fellowships Unit on:

  • Official link.

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