Memoir Pedagogy: Gender Narratives of Violence and Survival


  • Shahrzad Mojab University of Toronto
  • Nancy Taber Brock University


memoir, state violence, survival, transformative pedagogy


This article explores the transnational feminist praxis of building solidarity through our close reading of the memoirs of women political prisoners in Morocco, Iraq, and Iran. We cross-read these memoirs in the context of Aboriginal women’s encounter with state violence in Canada. This cross-reading contemplation is intended to trouble the liberal notion of ‘multiculturalism’, ‘settlement’ and ‘integration’ as well as to connect transitions in the lives of women who deal with war, militarism, racism, violence, and poverty. In this article, we describe the memoirs on which we focus, discuss their main themes, and explore the ways in which they intersect. We read the memoirs as living texts of society, culture, and history; in other words, we read the social and historical through the voice of the individual. Our aim is to explore the possibility of teaching memoirs and develop ‘Memory Pedagogy’ as a transformative adult education option.

Author Biographies

Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto


Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Nancy Taber, Brock University

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education


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How to Cite

Mojab, S., & Taber, N. (2015). Memoir Pedagogy: Gender Narratives of Violence and Survival. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 27(2 SE), 31–45. Retrieved from

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