Stained Pages: Fundamentalism, Action, and Reaction in Contemporary Novels

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Richard Trama/Stockton University

Stained Pages:  Fundamentalism, Action, and Reaction in Contemporary Novels

Recent events in Brussels, Pakistan, France (to name but a few places), demand the attention of the world. But, how does an academic organization such as NeMLA engage in discourse abut such violence without appearing to glorify or condone such acts?

This session aims to examine and discuss the works of writers such as Sunjeev Sahota, Moshin Hamid, and John Updike who have used the realm of fiction to open dialogue and discourse about the possible motivations behind the actions of, and reactions to fundamentalism. What generates fundamentalist mindset? In such works as Ours Are the Streets (Sahota), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Hamid), and Terrorist (Updike), these authors dare to create fictional accounts of migrant experiences, financial anxieties, class struggles, and cross-cultural dilemmas that can give rise to the geopolitical events that we have recently seen in Belgium, Pakistan, and France. How can these works be seen through the lens of recent fundamentalist-related attacks? How can fiction serve to enlighten and promote, as Hilda Chacon’s email to the NeMLA community stated, “the commitment to peace and respect in the face of conflict and diverse views”?

While this session would like to focus on works by Sahota and Hamid, any essays exploring related recent work of other American and UK/Comomwealth writers are welcome. Especially those works which document the outsider’s search and experience of belonging.


Please submit directly to NeMLA site for this panel: