Dewdrops on Embers: Deconstructing the Chequered Tropes of Existential Agonies in the Contemporary Arab American Poetry

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association
contact email: 

It gives me great pleasure to announce my proposed CFP for the upcoming ACLA American Comparative Literature Association conference to be held from 14th - 17th March 2024. Interested presenters may send in their papers latest by 30th September 2023 by visiting the ACLA webpage

The Call for Papers for proposed seminar:-

Dewdrops on Embers : Deconstructing the Chequered Tropes of Existential Agonies in Contemporary Arab American Poetry “

..Now we walk out into the tunnel of days And a million memories rustle..”
- Lisa Suhair Majaj, Geographies of Light

Though the emergence of Arab American literature can be traced back to the 19th century with the exodus of the Arab immigrants into the American soil, the recent decades have proffered a palpable proliferation in their literature, and stamped it out as a significant and vocal literary genre on account of the shifting political as also socio-cultural paradigms. Constantly grappling with existential ambivalence while living in America, whilst also somehow working out their own ethnic affirmations and diasporic sensibilities, the Arab American writers post 1967 brought out a polyphonic symphony of verses/poetry negotiating poetic spaces of ethnicity, nostalgia, rootlessness, identity crisis , mnemonics, racial prejudices, feminist concerns and more to weave a stunning tapestry of their lived experiences in a ‘foreign’ land. Poets like Mohja Kahf, Naomi Shihab Nye, Susan Abulhawa, Lisa Suhair Majaj, Nathalie Handal, Pauline Kaldas, Hedy Habra, Suheir Hammad, Elmaz Abinader are some of the numerous leading poetic voices of the contemporary Arab American poetry landscape voicing out their existential bewilderment, pain, melancholy and sweet longings in the vast canvas of their poetic expression. The present ACLA call for papers proposes a brainstorming or rather heart-storming of the whole wide spectrum of poetry dished out by the contemporary Arab American writers to delve into the kaleidoscopic dilemma and an intriguing funambulism that they have been experiencing for a long time now. The intellectual endeavour seeks to revisit, through the analysis of the poets’ verses, the labyrinth of their emotional odyssey traversing pathways of ethnic struggles, isolation, rebellion, questioning, hopelessness, homelessness, cultural cacophony, imaginary homelands, ephemeral reliefs and claiming of their light to make an efficacious premise for diasporic dilemma specifically in context of the Arabs living in America, and also that of the human predicament at large when confronted with fateful forces of migration, displacement and assimilation in an alien soil.

Best regards

Dr Rakhi Vyas
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Jai Narain Vyas University
Jodhpur Rajasthan