Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Vanessa Tyson

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

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© 2016 Alicia M. Hurteau

Abstract

This thesis materialized out of an urgency to legitimize more creative, plural, and curious ways of thinking critically about the implications of 9/11 specifically, and global terrorism generally. This thesis actively grapples with the question: how has feminist poetry written by Arab American women post 9/11 complicated, resisted, and re-imagined the creation of one homogenizing national narrative of the event? The data used in order to answer this research question comes from an analysis of the poetic work of five Arab American women, each of whom write explicitly within an anti-imperialist feminist framework. My thesis analyzes these poems in conversation with one another in order to synthesize and establish a pattern. In doing so, I extract three of the most prominent commonalities between the poems: (1) An insistence on dehomogenizing the Arab and the Arab American in direct contrast to the Western stereotypes that polarize and essentialize the Arab “other” (2) a desire to re-negotiate the politics of identity and visibility and (3) an ability to teach a way of suturing solidarity that is anti-imperialist, necessarily plural, and embodied as art. This thesis serves as a reminder that the groundwork for building more imaginative, creative, and generative coalitions has already been laid. It concludes that in learning from places of artistic re-visioning, it becomes more possible to chart connections and provoke loyalties that are resonant, resilient, and revolutionary.

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