Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Permanent Trauma: A Reading of Dima Wannous’ The Frightened Ones and Ibtisam Teresa’s Cities of Pigeons
by Al Khabbas, Ahmad Khaleel, Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2020, 206; 28027230
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigates the poetics of postcolonial trauma in two contemporary novels dealing with the authoritarian regime in Syria. These novels include Dima Wannous’ The Frightened Ones (2017) and Ibtisam Teresa’s Cities of Pigeons (2014). It stands to reason that canonical excavations of trauma have always concentrated upon the traumatizing and disturbing narratives and histories of the Western people and communities as well as those of Northern America. This study gears this focus to investigate traumas pertinent to other marginalized parts of the world whose traumas should also matter and merit a close investigation. The researcher examines women’s representations of war narratives and delineates how those narratives progressed over time. This research also exhibits how the authoritarian regime in Syria incarnates dictatorship and it also shows the dynamics and institutions by which the regime consolidates its control and subjugates the masses, such as clientelism, sectarianism and fear instilling. This study also plunges into the intricate relationship between dictatorship and permanent trauma demonstrating that dictatorships manufacture permanent trauma. Collective trauma constitutes another significant part in the construction of the second chapter. It discusses various traumas, such as displacement as well as enforced disappearance.

The study, moreover, deals with the concept of masculinity and shows the various meandering transformations it went through over time. It basically tackles the portraits and representation of how masculinity transforms in times of conflicts and wars.

The fourth chapter deals with the characteristics of postcolonial trauma narratives and the functions they serve. It focuses upon the notion that trauma not only affects people but it also affects the way they tell trauma. The ruptured narratives bespeak the disturbed mentality of the Syrians and the dismal conditions through which they go. The novels under scrutiny form a counter discourse documenting the atrocious and horrendous crimes the regime committed against civilians over time. The inscription of the woman voice is still one of the most important functionalities of the novels in question.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moreira, Luiza
Commitee: Levinson, Brett, Gerrits, Jeroen, Chaudhry, Lubna
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Department: Comparative Literature
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature
Keywords: Dictatorship, Masculinity, Narrative, Syria, Trauma
Publication Number: 28027230
ISBN: 9798678160492
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