Author Archive

William Gardner Smith’s International Solidarity Against Police Violence

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
While there is much to improve in how we support each other at home and across the globe, Smith’s 1963 novel, which documents the 1961 police massacre of Algerian protestors in Paris, reminds us of the immense power in solidarity and our duty to rise up for justice and

Memory, Mediocrity, and Gentrification in Zone One

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Combining elegant craft and clairvoyant perspective with tropes of the zombie novel, Colson Whitehead unsettles our conception of what it means to be human, to connect with each other, and how we understand what defines us as individuals.

Memory and Selfhood in Confessions

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In his remarkable 2008 novella, Rabee Jaber merges the cinematic image and affective response to investigate the paradox of memory and imagination, the polarization of Beirut, and the irretrievably fractured sense of self left behind by the thousands of disappeared civilians during the Lebanese Civil War.

The Ubiquitous Unhomeliness of the Diasporic Home

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In rendering Homi Bhabha’s concept of the unhomely, or “the estranging sense of the relocation of the home and the world—the unhomeliness—that is the condition of extra-territorial and cross-cultural initiations,” through the sounds and daily events of a young girl’s life, Jhumpa Lahiri exposes a particular formation of unhomeliness

The Overlooked Mistranslations in Blood and Guts in High School

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Kathy Acker’s infamous novel includes a section titled “The Persian Poems,” which pairs words written in Farsi alongside their translations in English. What has largely gone unrecognized is that Acker has deliberately mistranslated specific words, bringing an entirely new meaning to this passage, Acker’s craft, and the reader’s internalization

The Paradox of Journalistic Objectivity in Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The essays in this collection come together to detail not just the bravery and struggles of reporting as Arab women, but also to broaden our assumptions about journalistic neutrality, to resist the dehumanizing portrayal of Arabs, and to challenge the way we judge and perceive the value of a

Colonialism and Nationalism in The House of Hunger

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Alongside his exoneration of colonial violence both externally apparent and pervasively overlooked, Dambudzo Marechera questions what will happen when independence comes, throwing into stark relief the metanarrative of the nation state and the concept of nationalism as a motivating structure for freedom.

William Gardner Smith’s International Solidarity Against Police Violence

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
While there is much to improve in how we support each other at home and across the globe, Smith’s 1963 novel, which documents the 1961 police massacre of Algerian protestors in Paris, reminds us of the immense power in solidarity and our duty to rise up for justice and

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s 115-Year-Old Feminist Utopia

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In her satirical critique of the patriarchy in which she imagines a new, feminist society, Hossain’s 1905 short story “Sultana’s Dream” alludes to some of the most pressing contemporary global crises—epidemic disease, human displacement, overdependence on non-renewable energy, militarization of local police forces and the carceral mindset.

Turmoil, Vodou, and Female Strength in Moonbath

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
By remaining subtle at times and uninhibited at others, Yanick Lahens pens an essential family saga in the midst of Haiti’s politically turbulent mid-1900s, one that casts an eye to undiscussed brutality while simultaneously upholding a joyous celebration of culture, family, and female strength.