Kenyon College

Articulating Dissent: Arab American Literatures and the Politics of Representation

April 18, 2017 4:15pm – 6:00pm

In her talk, Carol Fadda-Conrey explores what it means to write as an Arab in the US, especially in the context of ongoing US imperialism, militarism, and Islamophobia. She addresses the ways in which Arab American writers forge anti-Orientalist and feminist critiques of the U.S. nation-state, focusing on the politics of self-representation, reception, and knowledge construction. Fadda asks: How do Arab American literary and artistic representations challenge entrenched Orientalist tropes while avoiding the pitfalls of cultural translation? And how do Arab American feminisms forge transnational and cross-racial spaces that undercut limiting cultural frameworks through which knowledge of Arabs and Muslims is constructed and circulated? In addressing these questions, Fadda-Conrey delineates how Arab American literary and cultural production produce complex understandings of Arab and Muslim lives in the diaspora beyond Orientalist logics.

Articulating Dissent: Arab American Literatures and the Politics of Representation

Carol Fadda-Conrey, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of English, Syracuse University

Tuesday, April 18, 4:15-6:00 PM

Cheever Room, Finn House


Carol Fadda-Conrey is an Assistant Professor of English at Syracuse University. She grew up in Beirut, Lebanon where she earned her B.A. and M.A. from the American University of Beirut. She graduated from Purdue University in August 2006 with a Ph.D. in contemporary American Literature. Her work on U.S. ethnic literatures focuses on Arab-American literary studies, delineating the complexity of Arab-American communal and individual identities, particularly in light of 9/11 and its aftermath. Her journal articles on gender, race, ethnicity, war, trauma, and transnational citizenship in Arab and Arab-American literary texts have appeared in Studies in the Humanities, MELUS, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, Al- Raida, and College Literature. Her essays have also appeared in the edited collections Arabs in America: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Arab Diaspora (2006), Arab Women’s Lives Retold: Exploring Identity Through Writing (2007), Teaching World Literature (2009), and Arab Voices in Diaspora: Critical Perspectives on Anglophone Arab Literature (2010). She is the author of Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging (2014).


About the Series: Aftermath and Arab-American Art, Literature & Film

In conjunction with the Gund Gallery’s spring semester exhibition entitled, Aftermath: The Fallout of War, a series of co-sponsored events based around the theme “Aftermath and Arab America,” will feature visiting Arab-American artists, writers, performers, and critics from multiple disciplines whose work reflects the sociopolitical dynamics of Arab America. The artists and critic will offer their perspectives through open conversations about the unique role of the Arab-American artist, especially in the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11, the Iraq War, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, other regional and global conflicts and the new U.S. presidency.  

Co-sponsored by: Kenyon Review, Graham Gund Gallery, Thomas Chair in Creative Writing, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Departments of English, Modern Languages and Literatures, and Programs in Comparative World Literatures, Asian Studies, Islamic Cultures and Film Studies.


Aftermath is organized by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Harn 25th Anniversary Fund, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Joanne L. and Edward R. Block Charitable Trust, with additional support from the Harn Curator of Photography Endowment.

Gund Gallery exhibitions and public programs are supported, in part, by the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.