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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reading, writing and respectability: how schoolgirls developed modern literacies in colonial Zanzibar
Author:Decker, CorrieISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Zanzibar
Subjects:women's education
colonial period
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25741398
Abstract:Many Muslim women who attended Zanzibar's colonial government girls' schools placed literacy above all else as the most important skill they learned. Schoolgirls of the 1930s and 1940s were 'modern girls' testing the waters of a new adolescent girl culture and reshaping the parameters of 'heshima' ('honour' or 'respectability') that limited the actions of their mothers and grandmothers. By the late 1950s, the 'time of politics' leading up to independence in December 1963 and the Revolution of January 1964, schoolgirls also began to see themselves as principal actors in Zanzibar's social and political development. This paper traces the history of schoolgirl literacy in Zanzibar between 1927, the year the first government girls' school opened, and 1964, the year of the Revolution, thus providing insight into the subjectivities of adolescent girls coming of age in Zanzibar's colonial schools and exposing critical historical shifts in Zanzibari notions of respectability and modernity. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]