Arab American Women's Poetry of Diaspora, War, and Intimacy
thesisposted on 12.06.2019, 15:27 by Dima Abdulmajeed Abduljabbar
Despite the fact that Arab American writers have been contributing to the literary scenes in the United States of America since the beginning of the twentieth century, it is only in the last four decades that academic and literary interests in the exploration of Arab American literature, as a branch of ethnic literature, has been emerging in this country. In many cases, whenever research in Arab American literature is available, studies have shown that Arab American fiction has received more academic attention at the expense of poetry. Studies of poetry remain a rarity, with those on women’s poetry being almost invisible. To combat the lack of research in the field of Arab American poetry, and to demonstrate the nature of poetry that is written by women as a conduit of experience and consciousness as much as fiction is, this thesis is interested in the study of the poetry of four contemporary Arab American women poets. These include the Lebanese American Elmaz Abinader, the Syrian American Mohja Kahf, the Palestinian American Naomi Nye, and the Jordanian American Laila Halaby. Examining these poets’ predominant themes: diaspora, war, and women’s intimacy, provides contexts for the exploration of Arab American life and experiences, and highlights the poetry of women as a complex means of expression. The thesis concludes that through their poetry, the aforementioned women poets have contributed enough literary input to help eliminate ignorance and correct the misrepresentations inflicted on Arabs and Arab Americans.