On December 9, Tasnim Qutait, postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of English, presented a work-in-progress on the intersections of migration and violence in Arabic literature.
In the aftermath of the War on Terror, the movement of migrants from the Arab world to the West has become a flashpoint in debates about the threat of Islamist extremism and the purported failures of multiculturalism. In these debates, “the migrant” is often an ambivalent figure, both victim and threat, both fleeing terror and a potential source of terrorism. In her study, Tasnim is exploring the notion of literature as “humanising” migrants and analysing the extent to which literary representations challenge, or feed into, polarised discourses.
We thank those who attended for a very lively and engaged discussion and for important contributions, and Tasnim for her project, which is extremely relevant in this historical moment.