NEMLA 2018 Pittsburgh

Friday, April 13 10:00-11:30 am

7.6 Global Literature in the Age of Trump (Roundtable)

This roundtable endeavors to assess the influence of Donald Trump’s 2016 election on literature in the US and around the world.

Transversal Cosmopolitanism and the Post-9/11 Global Novel

I read the post-9/11 global novel as an expression of transversal politics, as narratives that expose the différendwhich resists translation into a single global idiom; and I identify those characters who are cosmopolites, global citizens, who instigate a shared deterritorialization or double capture, or who may be types of an ethnocentric nationalism advanced by the 2016 Presidential election that is in the process of transversal transformation. I examine two novels that traverse in bi-social fashion the fractious relationship between Islam and the west. Amy Waldman’s The Submission(2011) confronts the profiling, racism, and backlash towards Muslims in America after 9/11. The protagonist of the novel, Mohamed Khan, is a well-educated professional and nonobservant Muslim who is forced by political circumstance to reconsider his US citizenship, his practice, and his faith. Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist(2007) reconsiders the American abroad who is both naïf and ugly in his encounter with the other, innocent and guilty of a civilized savaging of a foreign land. Both protagonists ultimately leave the US to become global citizens.