Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies, Vol 4, No 2, Spring and Summer 2022 (مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)



A Study of Antinarrative Elements in Alexander Burnes’ Travels into Bokhara(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Orientalism Antinarrative Despotism Monarch of all I Survey Cultural Receptivity

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Once treated like a pariah in the realm of literary criticism, the genre of travel writing becomes a legitimate object of critical inquiry after Said’s Orientalism in which he critically examines French and English travel books written in the context of colonialism. Similarly, this article embarks on reading Alexander Burnes’ Travels into Bokhara in the light of Orientalism. The travelogue recounts Burnes’ journey to Afghanistan and Turkistan during the Great Game. Instead of extracting and interpreting orientalist tropes in Burnes’ travel book, the present article seeks to study its antinarrative components: those statements and praxis which are inconsistent with Orientalism’s policing and regulatory norms. It contends that the travel writer exhibits his disenchantment with orientalist vision in three ways. Firstly, through recoiling from reiterating the trope of the alleged ‘Oriental’ despotism. Secondly, via unsettling the trope of the ‘monarch of all I survey’, and finally, by demonstrating cultural receptivity towards indigenous people and their Islamic culture.

Posthumanist Strategies of Forming Surrogate Cyborg Subjectivity in Contemporary Young Adult Autism Novels(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: posthumanism Subjectification Autobiography Nothing is Right Imaginary Friends

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Posthumanist themes are usually worked in speculative genres such as biotechnological science fiction. This paper demonstrates the potentiality of realistic young adult autism fiction for exploring posthumanist ideas. By highlighting the parallels between autistic sense of self and the posthumanist conception of subjectivity, we argue that autism young adult novels have the potentiality to re-conceptualize adolescence and subjectification in ways that diverge from the dominant humanistic paradigm of traditional young adult novels. Unlike traditional young adult novels, these autism novels depict adolescence as the period in which the individual leaves the illusion of autonomy behind, and becomes aware of his status as relational and inextricably tied to other subjectivities. These novels demonstrate that subjectification is a collective process whereby the individual emerges as an agential subject only in relation to other subjectivities. In order to illustrate our point we analyze Nothing is Right and Imaginary Friends, two novels by the autistic writer Michael Scott Monje, Jr. This paper proposes that this process relies on posthumanist premises of relationality, deconstruction of self/other binary and acknowledgment of difference as a constituent of selfhood.

In-between History and Memory: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Fictional World(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Cultural Trauma Emplotment Historiography Memory storytelling

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Leslie Marmon Silko, an American Indian writer, is one of the pioneers of literary renaissance in Native American literature. Her works are focused on cultural identity, the Native people’s struggle to preserve their past and culture by means of storytelling. This article focuses on Silko’s fictional world as both fiction and history. Moreover, it deals with the cultural trauma ingrained in the Indigenous people’s collective memories, which have shaped Silko’s imagined geography in her works. Regarding the theoretical axis of discussions concerning history, historiography and emplotment of history, this article uses theories of Hayden White to explore the place of historiography in narrative. Furthermore, it applies the critical arguments concerning cultural trauma proposed by Jeffrey C. Alexander. The research proves that Silko and her characters are haunted not by the desire for history, or the past itself; but rather, they are haunted by the desire for the act of historical recollection and the process of remembering and surviving. Finally, this article shows that Silko, as a historical figure with certain literary-historiographical ambitions, reconstructs her cultural heritage and cultural identity through storytelling and fictionalizes history to give voice to her silenced land, past and history, and dismantle the dominant Euro-American historiography.

Crushed under Imposition and Respectability Face Loss: A Look at Rapport Management in Monji dar Sobh-e-Namnak(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)


کلید واژه ها: Rapport Rapport management Sociality Rights Respectability Face Identity Face Interactional Goals

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This article focuses on how Shaygan and Dr. Talaee manage their rapport orientations in three interactional goals in Monji based on Spencer-Oatey’s model (2008), consisted of three interrelated elements (face sensitivities, interactional wants and behavioral expectations). Threatening or supporting each of which leads to rapport enhancement, maintenance, neglect and challenge. It is hypothesized getting involved in a transactional goal is a threat to rapport and insistence on getting one’s goals achieved further imbalances rapport and orients it toward neglect and challenge; it may lead to unpleasant consequences. The research intends to answer (1) how Shaygan and Talaee manage their rapport in their transactional interactions? (2) How are the interactional goals settled in the end for the two characters? The findings show both characters threaten each other’s sociality rights and sometimes attack each other’s face and set their rapport toward challenge. Left bereft of his identity and sociality rights, felt tenser when he himself attacked them, Shaygan committed suicide. Analysis of face and rapport management among people who are in contact with each other in long-term relationships and how face unfolds under those conditions in pragmatics is a road less traveled by and this research is a step in this path.

Intersectional-Translocational Positionality in Arab-American Women’s Narratives: Reading Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home and Laila Halaby's West of Jordan(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Belonging Home intersectionality Locationality Translocational Positionality

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The present paper analyzes the conceptualization of contemporary forms of identity construction within the interrelation of diaspora, ethnicity, belonging, transnationality, translocationality, and interculturality. It casts critical light on the complex subjectivity by introducing the concept of translocational positionality addressed by intersectionality theory. Intersectionality is presented as an analytical tool which sets a far more integrated analysis of diaspora, the shifting devaluation of racialized, sexualized, classed, and gendered lives and factors which shape social locationality. Thereby, Floya Anthias' concept of translocational positionality is used to address the complex and intersectional frame of social locationalities of in-transit Arab women and to unravel issues pertain to identity in terms of the status of in-transit Arab women and their unstable positionality on America. Identifying and scrutinizing the complex process of self-inscription in Randa Jarrar and Laila Halaby's narratives: A Map of Home (2008) and West of Jordan (2003), the study revealed that when the sense of non-belonging to place conceived as home occurs, liberating vision for change, fluid positionality and transformation perceptibly emerge. The research concludes locations are particularly fluid and henceforth positionality, home and belonging are necessarily defined in relation to time, context and space and so susceptible to shifts, transformations and contradictions.

Abstract Space in Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Henri Lefebvre Spatiality the Visual the Phallic the Mirror

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The consumer culture of late capitalism is more than ever associated with the concept of urban space. Prevalent in the late capitalist society is abstract space that homogenizes and flattens out the differences, conflicts and contradictions on the social scene. This process of homogenization acts as a mechanism of control to preserve the current status quo. In Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, abstract space, by homogenizing and fragmenting the body and lived experience, makes the characters comply with the consumer culture and suppresses the potentials for the difference and the emergence of alternative spaces. In this paper, the role abstract space plays in Ellis's novel is analyzed in the light of Henri Lefebvre's theory of space. The present study argues that abstract space numbs the potentials for difference and heterogeneity in Ellis's novel. Instead, it imposes homogeneity on social relations, pushing the characters to the brink of invisibility and nothingness.

Food and Female Identity in Buchi Emecheta’s Double Yoke and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Culinary Literary Criticism Ideal Body Image Docile Body Cooking Gender Roles Micropractice

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Culinary literary criticism is a new field which has gathered interest among many scholars around the world. The cultural significance of gastronomic representations in literary texts is usually interconnected with the issues of gender, race, and class. The current study aims to examine the relation between food and gender identity in the selected works of two prominent Nigerian female writers in terms of Susan Bordo’s views on ‘food and the ideal body image’ and ‘cooking and gender roles’. In the present age, the ideas of having an ideal gendered body and also gender obligations have permeated more deeply among individuals by the social media, including advertisements, and thus have gained increasing prominence among scholars. Employing Foucault’s terminology, Bordo criticizes the individuals’ obsession and excess to shape their bodies according to the gendered ideals and thus turning to docile bodies and also the issue of cooking as a gendered micropractice. Here, it can be argued how Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the two feminist novelists, present the motif of food and cooking in their works to question the dominant patriarchal culture and the expected gender roles.

Writing Back to “Culture Talk”: Reinvention of Muslim Identity in The Road from Damascus(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Culture Talk The Road from Damascus secularism Writing Back Islam Identity

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A couple of decades before 9/11, after the collapse of USSR, Islam started to be culturally represented as the major “Other” in the West. 9/11 attacks accelerated the movement with the “culture talk” project positioning Islam as the backward culture against which the West and secularism are portrayed as the epitome of progressive liberal civilization/culture. Muslims, however, wrote back to the project. Literature, especially fiction, was found an appropriate media through which Muslims’ voice could be expressed. Robin Yassin Kassab’s The Road from Damascus is a true writing back attempt in order to respond to the hegemonic “othering” of Islam in the West. The narrative actualizes the purpose upending the constructed bifurcation of “the West” versus “Islam”. Being approached from a new perspective, both terms/signs are deconstructed in the novel so that the center/periphery opposition is reversed. In this new structure each term/sign is given new significances challenging the mainstream “imagined identities” of Muslims in the West.

Sedimented Expressions and Indirect Language in John Berger’s A Painter of Our Time(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Aesthetics being Body experience language Perception

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The aim of the present research is to investigate the relation between phenomenology and language, and to comprehend the cognitive experience by reading a literary work or an aesthetic text. It also addresses the process of pure perception and visualization of an object in the mind and the relation of body to the world within the phenomenal field. The present study delves into John Berger’s A Painter of Our Time (1958) in order to examine the painterly process of expressing an array of human sensations and experience of the world, eventually revealing the truth. The phenomenological philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty enables an intersubjective interaction between “body”, “experience”, language and “perceptual world”. This study thus seeks to address the mechanics of the painter’s mind, exploring the root of being and eventually explaining his style and mute meaning. Focusing on whether visualizing, reading, and thinking through a work of art in a text, could provide an aesthetic experience of the text ultimately brings an aesthetic judgment of a work of art based on the knowledge gained through the literary text. Consequently, the readers, positioning themselves in the synesthetic and experience of the text, develop a new visual and aesthetic experience of the world.

A Comparative Analysis of Simin Behbahani and Souad al-Sabah's Poetry from the Perspective of Feminist Criticism(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: comparative literature Contemporary Poetry Feminist Criticism Simin Behbahani Souad al-Sabah

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In the early twentieth century, with the rise of women's issues in the continuation of the world's feminist movements, women's literature was formed in Iran and the Arab world. Women's issues in Persian and Arabic poetry first appeared in the poems of Forough Farrokhzad and Ghada al-Samman. Later, Simin Behbahani in Persian literature and Souad al-Sabah in Arabic became famous poets in the framework of liberal feminism and gave a new interpretation of women's desires and problems. Challenging gender discrimination, they have raised the issue of human equality in a reformist and principled manner. This article has analyzed and compared the components of feminist criticism in the poetry of two poets with a descriptive-analytical method and a comparative approach. Discrimination due to misconceptions about love, marriage, and the emphasis on awareness, freedom, individual and identity independence, and changing attitudes are among the most important themes of two poets. Because of their social commonalities, beliefs, lived experiences, traditions, and similar circumstances, they have described the status and position of women with highly realistic conceptions of common themes. The critical point of view and the style of expression of both poets are non-iconoclastic and in accordance with liberal feminism.

A Psychoanalytic Study of Psychosexual Signs in Dali’s Adaptive Paintings of Dante’s Divine Comedy(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Dante’s Inferno Salvador Dali Sigmund Freud Psychosexual Symbols Oedipus Complex Electra Complex

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The aim of the present study is to compare Inferno in Dante’s Divine Comedy with Salvador Dali’s selected paintings. The researchers seek to find differences, similarities, reflections of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories, and analyzed the symbols and signs in Dali’s paintings. Inferno in Dante’s Divine Comedy consists of thirty-four cantos from which the current study has selected images that illustrate the differences, similarities, psychoanalytic theories of Freud, and symbols in Dali’s paintings. The research method of the present study is analytical-comparative method which has used the American school of comparative literature in analyzing the above examples. The corpuses of the current study include Dante’s Inferno and Dali’s adaptive paintings. This study addresses Inferno in that it inspired Dante in the form of dream, and it is the product of the unconscious mind. On the other hand, Dali’s Paintings have been explored because he, as a surrealist painter, portrayed the dreams and the unconscious in his works. The major finding includes the similarity between Dali’s focused on the human’s unconscious and psychosexual symbols in his paintings with Dante’s employment of the unconscious in Divine Comedy , as well as the impact of this medieval work on modern art.

Teachers' Attitudes towards the Use of Instructional Technology and its Impact on Their Self-efficacy(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: attitude Instructional Technology Iranian EFL Teachers Self-Efficacy

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This quantitative study intended to investigate Iranian EFL Teachers' attitudes towards the use of instructional technology in their classroom and its impact on their self-efficacy. Eighty teachers were surveyed using Teacher Sense of Self-Efficacy Survey (TSES) and the Media Technology Usage and Attitudes Scale (MTUAS). The first research question was designed to examine teachers' attitudes towards the use of instructional technology within the classroom and its effects on their self-efficacy and concerning the subscales of teacher self-efficacy, the findings significantly predicted the impacts of the use of instructional technology on teachers’ self-efficacy. In addition, after analyzing the data using Multiple Regression Analysis, it was further discovered that teacher self-efficacy had a significant relationship with the ability to integrate all of the sub-groups: smartphones, the internet, social media, texting, and email; The results showed that emails and smartphones, two subscales of media questionnaire, could highly predict the significant impacts of the use of integrated technology on teachers' self-efficacy. The findings suggested that training for technology-related components may not need to focus on how to use the technologies, but focusing more on how the technologies can benefit the classroom and help learners to improve their learning within the classroom.