Angela Jurdak Khoury was born in 1915 in Lebanon and died in 2011 in Washington D.C. She was the first woman who studied in the Department of Sociology at the American University of Beirut, and the first to graduate with an M.A degree from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1938. She was also the first woman to teach and be involved in social services at the university. In 1945, Khoury joined diplomatic affairs to become the first woman diplomat in Lebanon, representing her country in the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN between 1946 and 1951. Unfortunately, her story is not really included in the history of Lebanon. For that reason, this paper contributes to “herstory,” to shed light on the role of women in social sciences through the study of individual experiences. It focuses on the status of Arab Protestant women in Lebanon under the mandate between the 1930s and 1940s, when they were considered to be subaltern citizens. From a subaltern subject during the mandate to a diplomat, Khoury has a very interesting path worth studying. As such, this article examines the place of women in colonial societies, using an institutionalist and poststructuralist feminist approach and network theory. Biographical tools help to draw the portrayal of an emancipated woman who braved the social biases of her time. Using the American University of Beirut archives and documents written by Angela Jurdak Khoury from 1935 to 1968, I aim to contribute to the feminization of the writing of history in the 21st century.

Author Biography

Angela Kahil is a French and Lebanese researcher in gender and contemporary history, holding a PhD in History, Societies, and Civilizations from the Institute of Oriental Languages (INALCO) in Paris. She taught in the PSPA department at AUB between 2017 and 2019 and has been teaching at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Lebanon in the History and PSPA Departments since 2014. Kahil has been a Fulbright Scholar in 2016 and a visiting professor at Erfurt University in 2015. Her field of research is gender in the history and politics of the Middle East in the contemporary period. She can be reached by email at angelakahil@hotmail.com