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“DOUBLE REFRACTION”: IMAGE PROJECTION AND PERCEPTION IN SAUDI-AMERICAN CONTEXTS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

thesis
posted on 18.05.2020 by Ghaleb Alomaish

This dissertation aims to create a scholarly space where a seventy-five-year-old “special relationship” (1945-2020) between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States is examined from an interdisciplinary comparativist perspective. I posit that a comparative study of Saudi and American fiction goes beyond the limitedness of global geopolitics and proves to uncover some new literary, sociocultural, and historical dimensions of this long history, while shedding some light on others. Saudi writers creatively challenge the inherently static and monolithic image of Saudi Arabia, its culture and people in the West. They also simultaneously unsettle the notion of homogeneity and enable us to gain new insight into self-perception within the local Saudi context by offering a wide scope of genuine engagements with distinctive themes ranging from spatiality, identity, ethnicity, and gender to slavery, religiosity and (post)modernity. On the other side, American authors still show some signs of ambivalence towards the depiction of the Saudi (Muslim/Arab) Other, but they nonetheless also demonstrate serious effort to emancipate their representations from the confining legacy of (neo)Orientalist discourse and oil politics by tackling the concepts of race, alterity, hegemony, radicalism, nomadism and (un)belonging.

History

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Comparative Literature

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Ahmed Idrissi Alami

Additional Committee Member 2

Aparajita Sagar

Additional Committee Member 3

Shaun F. D. Hughes

Additional Committee Member 4

Beate I. Allert

Licence

Exports