Master’s Thesis on Alif the Unseen and Ajwan

Image: Still from the upcoming Ajwan TV series from UAE

Here is another Masters thesis that might be of interest to our readers at Islam and Sci-Fi. Zainab Coovadia, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Department at the University of Toronto has a masters thesis on social justice and politics in two novels inspired by Islamicate cultures – G. WIllow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen and Nora Al-Nouman’s Ajwan. here is the abstract of the thesis.

At the Intersection of Politics and Science Fiction: Illuminating Concepts of Spatial Justice in Two Novels, Alif the Unseen and Ajwan
Author: Zainab Coovadia
Abstract: There is growing interest in genre science fiction in the Arab world, evident from the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC), and the increase in the number of Arab science fiction novels being published. However, scholars have paid little attention to this emerging literary field. This paper seeks to understand some of the politics in studying and writing about Arab science fiction in academia. This paper also provides an in-depth analysis of two Arab science fiction novels that can be read as forms of critical literature. These novels engage readers in the process of speculatively imagining how everyday spaces in society have the potential to act as foundations for resistance and emancipation. Using the metaphor of a spaceship to represent each text, this paper argues that there is a strong relationship between social justice and space in both novels, providing readers with a new understanding of spatial justice.

You can download the full text here. Thanks to Hall H. for the pointer.

1 Comment

  1. As-salamu Alaykum,

    This is interesting, but I am slightly confused regarding how the author defined “Arab science fiction novel.” Any insights?

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