Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Keith Booker

Committee Member

Toni Jensen

Second Committee Member

William Quinn

Keywords

American Literature, Fantasy, Middle East

Abstract

What follows is a Master’s Thesis in which an insight is given into four Middle East-

inspired contemporary American fantasy novels: The Desert of Souls (2011) by Howard Andrew Jones, Throne of the Crescent Moon (2012) by Saladin Ahmed, The City of Brass (2017) by S. A. Chakraborty, and Alif the Unseen (2012) by G. Willow Wilson. In the first part of the thesis I disclose the political implications which the mentioned novels carry. These are inspired by the past and contemporary political developments in the Middle East, and are meant to both criticize the said, but more importantly, to depict the existing internal actions for change. By presenting a complex political setting, there is an attempt to combat stereotypes of Middle Eastern political passivism. The second part of the thesis focuses on socio-religious and cultural presentation of the Middle East that is to a great degree fantasized, and as such is meant to entertain and bring about understanding of the Middle Eastern cultures and religions to the American readership.

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