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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A handful of dust: Reading South Asian (im)migrant identity in Islamicate literatures
by Rashid, Hussein, Ph.D., Harvard University, 2010, 433; 3415425
Abstract (Summary)

Second generation immigrants to the US and the UK are precariously positioned in terms of cultural acceptance in their respective host societies. They are racially marginalized, yet want to create a home for themselves in these countries. As a result of their tenuous position, a strong cultural consciousness is created, including an awareness of other South Asians internationally. The resultant diaspora community is also tied to other marginalized groups in their respective host societies. Artists from within in these South Asian immigrant communities utilize two Islamicate lyrical genres, ghazal and gawwal i, to try to change the cultural dynamics in their host countries. By hybridizing the literature with musics from other groups, including reggae, hip-hip, rock, punk, and electronica, the sounds of Asians become normalized. This normalization creates an auditory avenue through which immigrants can be more culturally accepted. These immigrants are invested in redefining what it means to American and British by redefining gh azal and gawwal i. The dissertation includes discussions of the sociological concerns of immigrants, the creation of inter- and intra-ethnic alliances, and applicability of hybridity theory to the cultural creations of these groups. In addition, it talks about the larger meanings of these texts across borders and the idea of a transnational cultural arena termed "desist an."

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Asani, Ali
School: Harvard University
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian literature, Islamic Studies, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Diaspora and hybridity, Ghazal, Immigration, Islamicate, Music - Asian underground, Qawwali, South Asian
Publication Number: 3415425
ISBN: 978-1-124-09105-1
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