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What to The Slave is The Arabic Novel?

April 22, 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Talk with Dr. Mona Kareem, CHAT Postdoctoral Fellow.


About the Talk:

Outside of colonial archives, histories of Indian Ocean slavery have mainly been carried by novelists from South Asia, Africa, and more recently the Arabian Peninsula (aka Arab Gulf). In this talk, Kareem discusses a relatively new interest among Arabic novelists to compose microhistories of oppressed groups such as enslaved, stateless, migrant, and displaced peoples, as well as ethnic and religious minorities. This focus in the contemporary Arabic novel, at once ambitious and problematic, has played an instrumental role in bringing issues of race, ethnicity, and minority to the forefront of public debates. Kareem’s talk will walk us through several contemporary Arabic novels written by Arab and Afro-Arab writers to closely examine what roles an author’s positionality, politics, and aesthetics play when tackling stories of enslavement and their place in national history and imaginary. Kareem argues that Arab authors often resort to colonial romance fiction to test race relations, while Black authors are more interested in formulating a neo-slave narrative tradition.


April 22, 2022
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Online Zoom


Center for the Humanities at Tufts