Prolegomenon for a Theory of the Palestinian American Novel

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Abstract

Though Palestine—as place, national aspiration, conflict, refugee crisis, political-cultural cause—stands at the institutional origin of the fields of Arab American literary study and Arab American studies more generally, Palestinian American literature itself has mostly not yet become a discrete object of disciplinary study. Palestinian American authors have not been ignored, but scholarly analysis of their work often proceeds under the authority of other legitimizing frameworks—with Palestinian American literature instrumentalized as capital for other ideological projects—even as identity became a primary currency in academic literary study in the decolonial era. This has limited opportunities to examine disciplinary mechanisms of institution-formation. A robust theory of Palestinian American literature contests the critical overdetermination suffered by an emergent Palestinian American literary archive that has expanded substantially since 2001, supporting a dynamic field of dedicated literary scholarship that refuses to be subordinated to a project of territorial nationalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-56
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Arabic Literature
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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