SAM Seminar: Palestine and the Figure of the Palestinian in Lebanese Diaspora Literature

When:26 Feb 2019, 3:30pm - 5pm
Venue:Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building
Who:Jumana Bayeh (Macquarie University) and Bill Ashcroft (UNSW)

Sabra and Shatila

Palestine and the Figure of the Palestinian in Lebanese Diaspora Literature

Research of diaspora literature is circumscribed by a focus on several elements, namely homelands, nations and identity formation. This paper looks beyond these elements to develop a wider appreciation of can also be of intrinsic significance to particular bodies of diaspora writing. I focus on Lebanese diaspora fiction and employ Caroline Levine’s concept of “form” to highlight that Palestine, often treated as significant only in terms of historical context, is intrinsic to this fiction. Palestine shapes Lebanese diaspora writing in pivotal ways, shedding light on how character transformations and the impact of authors’ diasporic experiences on their narratives are best understood through an investigation of Palestine’s formative role.

Jumana Bayeh is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University. Her current projects include an extension of monograph, The Literature of the Lebanese Diaspora (2015), to the broader field of Arab diaspora writing over the last century, and a collaborative ARC-funded project on Rioting and the Literary Archive.

Bill Ashcroft, Emeritus Professor of English at UNSW, will respond to Jumana’s presentation.


SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. No need to book, all welcome.

Coming next:
Week 4 - Tuesday 12 March
Elizabeth Stephens (UQ) with a response from Lindsay Kelley (UNSW Art & Design)
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Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, Michael Richardson –

Finding us
Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor.

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