Muslim identity issues in literature and film
Fiction narratives, films, documentaries and TV series dealing with Muslim issues have increased notably since the events of 9/11, most of them with reference to Islamist terrorism. Whether triggered by 9/11 attacks or not, Islamic characters in literature and film often embody the problematic role of the 'Other' and are usually forced into a stereotype designed from a Western biased perspective as an epitome of fundamentalism and hatred versus the civilization and modernity represented by white, wealthy westerners. Narratives like Hanif Kureishi's My Son the Fanatic (1994) and its 1997 film version, Monica Ali's Brick Lane (2004) and its 2007 film version, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) and its 2011 film version, John Updike's Terrorist (2006), Kiran Nagarkar's God Little Soldier (2006), Don DeLillo's Falling Man (2007), Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2008) and its 2012 film version, Tabish Khair's How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position (2012), or Mohammad Hanif's Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (2012) are only some examples of a wider rich literary exploration.
Along with literature, films, documentaries and TV series as Kurbaan (2009), My Name is Khan (2010), Saving Face (2004), Homeland (2011) or Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007), among many others, also attempt to offer (or fail to do so) an insight about the kaleidoscopic and multifold nature of Muslim identity.
Western constructions are also contested and challenged by intellectuals, academicians and scholars in what has come to be one of the defining 21st century issues: Fred Halliday's "Islamophobia Reconsidered" (1999), Noam Chomsky's The Culture of Terrorism (1999), Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies' Why Do People Hate America? (2002), John E. Richardson's (Mis)Representing Islam: The Racism and Rhetoric of British Broadsheet Newspapers (2004), Samir Kassir's Being Arab (2006), Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (2007), or Tabish Khair's Muslim Modernities (2008) display, inter alia, multifarious approaches to this issue.
The Journal of Contemporary Literature (Allahabad, India) seeks contributions for its next issue (December 2013) that will expand our current understanding of the complex nature of Muslim identities within the international geopolitical and sociological situation through a variety of critical stances. Prompting scholars to engage with connections between history, economics, literature, society, religion, etc., this journal invites articles devoted to the analysis of how Muslim identities are shaped, dealt with, investigated and problematized both in narratives and the screen by fostering multifaceted approaches. Prospective themes are:
- post-9/11 trauma narratives and film
- Muslim social struggle after 9/11
- fighting stereotypes in the multi-ethnic classroom after 9/11
- re-visiting terrorist tragedies
- radical Islam and the radical 'Other'
- diasporic Muslim identities
- Western vs Eastern victimhood
- collective memory/history
- similarities between Christianity and Islam
- female Islamic identities
- Muslim stereotypes and racial ambiguity in Western nations
- religion-race identity creations by the West
- racism against Middle Easterners
Full papers (4000-7000 words) must conform to the latest MLA style. Articles must be sent as attachments to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th November 2013.