Parisa Arasteh

Pomegranate Fiction: Cosmopolitanism and Contemporary Arab American Novels

The “transnational turn” in American literary studies has generated enormous literary analysis and debates on American literature’s encounter with and integration into transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Writers from various marginal ethnicities have had their voices heard; one of the emergent literary groups involved in this transnational turn is Arab American Literature. The present research argues that Arab American writings strive for change in mainstream cultural and social assumptions of ethnicities and minorities, promoting a more plural and cosmopolitan perspective, or what cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah calls “cosmopolitan contamination.” The study recognizes the unique socio-political status of this body of literature and aims to introduce a dynamic dialectic between cosmopolitanism and the selected Arab American novels. The study intends to analyze the works of Arab-American women writers such as Diana Abu-Jaber, Mohja Kahf, Alia Yunis and Hala Alyan; The chapters in this study closely investigate the concept of cosmopolitanism and how it is perceived and negotiated in terms of content and style in their selected novels: Arabian Jazz (1993), The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006), The Night Counter (2009), and Salt Houses (2017). The study attempts to make a contribution to Arab American studies through analyzing the selected novels’ engagement with cosmopolitanism and delineate how they contribute to current understandings of cosmopolitanism in literature as well.




  • Academic CV

    Since 10/2020 PhD Candidate, Graduate School 'Practices of Literature', WWU Münster
    2016-2019 ESL teacher at Safir Language Academy
    2011-2014 M.A. English Literature, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
    2007-2011 B.A. English Literature, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran



  • Publications

    2018 Lucia, Berlin. “Phantom Pain.” Dastan Hamshahri. Trans. P. Arasteh. Tehran: Hamshahri, no.88, June 2018. pp.114.
    2016 Jolley, Elizabeth. “A Hedge of Rosemary.” Dastan Hamshahri. Trans. P. Arasteh. Tehran: Hamshahri, no.69, September 2016. pp.114.
    2014 Arasteh, Parisa, Pirnajmuddin, Hossein. “The Mimic (Wo)man ‘Writes Back’: Anita Desai’s In Custody. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences. 27 (2014), 57-66
    2013 Arasteh, Parisa, Pirnajmuddin, Hossein. “Representational Parallels of Postmodernism and Postcolonial Feminism in Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting.” Criticism & Metacriticism Conference. Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, Iran. September 18–19, 2013.