Intersectional-Translocational Positionality in Arab-American Women’s Narratives: Reading Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home and Laila Halaby's West of Jordan

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate in English Literature, Department of English Literature, Tehran Central Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Parand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.



The present paper analyzes the conceptualization of contemporary forms of identity construction within the interrelation of diaspora, ethnicity, belonging, transnationality, translocationality, and interculturality. It casts critical light on the complex subjectivity by introducing the concept of translocational positionality addressed by intersectionality theory. Intersectionality is presented as an analytical tool which sets a far more integrated analysis of diaspora, the shifting devaluation of racialized, sexualized, classed, and gendered lives and factors which shape social locationality. Thereby, Floya Anthias' concept of translocational positionality is used to address the complex and intersectional frame of social locationalities of in-transit Arab women and to unravel issues pertain to identity in terms of the status of in-transit Arab women and their unstable positionality on America. Identifying and scrutinizing the complex process of self-inscription in Randa Jarrar and Laila Halaby's narratives: A Map of Home (2008) and West of Jordan (2003), the study revealed that when the sense of non-belonging to place conceived as home occurs, liberating vision for change, fluid positionality and transformation perceptibly emerge. The research concludes locations are particularly fluid and henceforth positionality, home and belonging are necessarily defined in relation to time, context and space and so susceptible to shifts, transformations and contradictions.


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