Transnational Perspectives: War, Power, and Violence in the Work of Etel Adnan
This paper seeks to investigate how national literature transcends local borders and interconnects with images and realities of war, power, and violence in a transnational context. The current study attempts to position the contemporary Arab-American writer and poet, Etel Adnan (1925), within a transitional milieu that engages questions regarding what type of associations may be made among the themes under study and how dialogue between nationalism and literature does meet from the lens of a transnational perspective. Drawing upon a wide range of transnational theories and criticism, borderland theory, and Anglophone Arab feminist writing, I attempt to examine how Adnan questions, mediates, and reflects upon her transnational experience in light of what scholars such as Pries (2001), Ramazani (2009), Parker and Young (2013), Smith and Guarnizo (1998), and Jakubowicz (2012) have negotiated in this field. Through a selection of Adnan’s genres and literary styles, the paper focuses on how issues of transnational ethnicity, culture, race, history, politics and multiple belongings intersect in the transnational landscapes that signify the vitality of contemporary Arab-American women’s writing and give voice to the peculiarities of female subjectivity beyond borderlands. In this sense, the paper will bring to light the emerging transnational literary discourse and variations of its expressions and forms that resist the confines of national spaces and state borders.
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