BOOK REVIEW: HILLBILLY ELEGY: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS, BY J.D. VANCE

Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus (2007) drew a global readership’s attention to underprivileged Appalachian communities. J.D. Vance replicates this with his memori Hillbilly Elegy. Published, like Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash, in 2016, Vance and Isenberg agree that despite constitutionally enshrined freedom, social mobility remains unattainable for many disenfranchised white working-class US citizens. Continue reading

Review: ‘It Is True, We Shall Be Monsters’: New Perspectives in Science-Fiction, Horror, and the Monstrous On-Screen

De Montfort University

With 2018 marking the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – often cited as the first science-fiction novel – the Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre’s seventh annual postgraduate conference at De Montfort University was particularly timely. Indeed, the genres of horror and science-fiction have enjoyed recent critical and commercial successes, such as Black Mirror (2011-), Stranger Things (2016-), and The Shape of Water (2017). Continue reading

Review: Exhaustion and Regeneration in Post-Millennial North American Literature and Visual Culture

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland

Its focus was the topics of exhaustion and regeneration in American and Canadian literature and visual cultures, including but not limited to film, visual arts, video games, and television from the year 2000 to the present day. Continue reading

Review: Ghostly, Ghastly, Corporeal and Creaturely: Tim Burton’s Curious Bodies, First International Conference on Twenty-First Century Film Directors

University of Wolverhampton

Tim Burton’s Curious Bodies (The First International Conference on Twenty-First Century Film Directors), University of Wolverhampton, 15 February 2018 The inaugural International Conference on Twenty-First Century Film Directors, organised by The University of Wolverhampton in conjunction with Redeemer University College, Ontario, focused on the films of Tim Burton. Specifically, it … Continue reading

“Right to Try” (Again): A history of the experimental therapy movement

In recent weeks and months, momentum has increased on Capitol Hill to craft “right to try” laws that would profoundly change the medical landscape. The national legislation will allow terminally ill patients more access to experimental therapies (drugs, biologics, devices) that have completed Phase 1 testing. Powerful pharmaceutical and biotech concerns have been largely quiet. The Trump administration, for its part, has underlined the issue, not only in the State of the Union Address but in VP Mike Pence’s active support. Continue reading

“Cracking Eggs” in Diana Abu-Jaber’s ‘Life Without a Recipe’ (2016)

I am Fatima: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary American-Muslim Women’s Writing Series

This is the third and last post in the series ‘I am Fatima: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary American-Muslim Women’s Writing’ guest-written by Hasnul Djohar. This short series explores American-Muslim women’s writing in the 21st Century, focusing on the negotiation of identities within the works of a specific author in each … Continue reading

Folktales in Randa Jarrar’s ‘A Map of Home’ (2008)

I am Fatima: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary American-Muslim Women’s Writing Series

Randa Jarrar’s ‘A Map of Home’ (2008) narrates the coming-of-age story of a Muslim woman of Egyptian and Palestinian descent […] [and] can be compared to Kingston’s ‘The Woman Warrior’ (2000) which uses Chinese folktales; and Jarrar also alludes to Palestinian folktales. The protagonist, Nidali, describes this folktale through the way her grandma, Sitto, tells her the story, which is about “two sisters, one poor and one rich” […] “The poor one goes to the rich one’s house and the rich one’s stuffing cabbage leaves” (101). The poor one is creative and willing to help others until she becomes rich because her own fart is happy after she lets it go from her stomach and it presents her with gold, while her sister at the end is dying because her own fart gives her scorpions after forcing it to go out from her comfortable stomach. Continue reading

Women’s Emancipation in Mohja Kahf’s ‘Emails from Scheherazad’ (2003)

I am Fatima: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary American-Muslim Women’s Writing Series

Mohja Kahf the poet, novelist and scholar, was born in 1960 in Damascus, Syria and moved with her family to America’s Midwest in 1971. She is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the writer of two poetry collections […] Kahf’s collection of poetry, ‘Emails from Scheherazad’ (EFS) explores the struggle of Muslim women to reclaim their own identity and reverse American myths and stereotypes of the Muslim world, especially Muslim women. In doing so, Kahf alludes to Muslim Women’s forebears, such as Asiya, Mary, Balqis, Khadija, Fatima, and Scheherazad. Scheherazad, the Queen and the story teller in ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, is a hero for Muslim women as she successfully revered the King’s physical violence into magnificent stories, which made the King wiser in understanding humanity. Continue reading

I am Fatima: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary American-Muslim Women’s Writing

Introducing the Series

By exploring the heroic stories of American-Muslim women, who also represent other marginal groups, we gain a better understanding of how these groups have not only suffered from white mythologies from the periods of European colonialisms and American imperialism, but also have struggled to seek social justice and equality. And with the better understanding of these women’s struggles, this short series aims to contribute to discussions concerning American-Muslim literature, which explores both melancholic and convivial stories of marginal groups in order to reveal what it means to be American citizens of Muslim descent. Continue reading