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Ömercan Tüm profile

Ömercan Tüm

Ömercan Tüm

University of Brighton (2023)

Supervisor(s)

Nigel H. Foxcroft

Thesis

Representations of Muslim Masculinities in Contemporary British and American Diaspora Novels

About

This project focuses on the representations of Muslim masculinities in contemporary British and American diaspora novels. The study aims to reveal how normative values and social practices around masculinity enter narratives, as well as how they communicate cultural, social, and religious norms of masculinity and sexuality in characters’ accounts of daily life in various diasporic contexts. Treating masculinity as an identity category with discursive and performative effects operating in intersection with age, sexuality, ethnicity, and class, the selected novels represent Muslim characters living in diaspora as highly complex intersectional subjects challenging and problematizing gender norms. Although the figure of the Muslim diasporic subject has gained considerable visibility in contemporary cultural and literary studies, the proposed project avoids cis-gendered and gay-centred readings when dealing with diasporic masculinities, and offers a more nuanced account of migrant experiences that is inclusive of heterosexual, queer and trans characters. The diasporic Muslim characters occupy fluid spaces in both their gendered behaviours and their relationships with religion. Shaped by a constructivist approach to queer intersectionality, this project aims to explore the ways in which (i) masculinities are expressed, embodied, and performed in contemporary diaspora literature, and (ii) the Muslim characters become the agents of social critique. Questions predicating this project include:

  • How do Muslim masculinities in Anglophone literature complicate the intersectional operations of gender, religion, diaspora, and sexuality?
  • What are the conditions of fluidity and constraint in the diasporic experiences of gender and sexuality? How do Muslim masculinities relate to national and transnational contexts of identity politics?
  • How are the representations of Muslim masculinities in contemporary Anglophone novel received critically?

The theoretical framework of the proposed project will contribute to the fields of (i) Anglophone literary criticism, (ii) diaspora studies, (iii) gender studies, and (iv) transnational sexuality studies.

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