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Emotional Bedouins, Geographies, and Masculinity in Bangladeshi Diaspora Novels in English

An online seminar hosted by The University of Western Australia. Part of the CHE Virtual Fellows Seminar Series


Image: Front cover of Spiral Road by Adib Khan (2010, HarperCollins Australia). 

Date: Friday 22 July 2022
Time: 12:00pm AWST / 2:00pm AEST
Venue: Online via Zoom. Please email emotions@uwa.edu.au for connection details. 
Enquiries: emotions@uwa.edu.au

The present project aims to study the representations of Bangladeshi migrant men and their Bedouin emotions in three Bangladeshi diaspora novels in English. It extends the happy women versus unhappy men paradigm—one of the major findings in my PhD research, and examines why the authors portray men as unhappy, when 9/11 created a crisis in Muslim men and masculinity images? The reading of Bangladeshi Australian writer Abid Khan’s Spiral Road partly answers this question through the male protagonist Masud’s return visit to Bangladesh from Australia. It uses Appadurai’s globalisation and Rosenwein’s emotional community to analyse Masud’s encounter with his old and diseased forefathers and his young and secretive progenies and maps how the temporal and spatial currents between home (British Bengal and Independent Bangladesh) and host countries (Australia, England, and the USA) shape and reshape masculinity. In this way, the study confirms the idea that men are made, not born, and masculinity is fluid and shifting (Ouzgane 2003; Connell 2005). Concurrently, it contends that the pre-9/11 migrant men who embrace nomadism and cultural hybridization as pleasures of exile fall into the loopholes of existential and identity questions in the precarious post-9/11 era. As a result, anger, resentment, aversion, shock, and despair characterise men’s emotional geographies, making diaspora not only unhappy dispersal but irate gathering as well.


Dr Diana Barnes (University of New England)


Dr Umme Salma is a Casual Academic and Guest Lecturer at The University of Queensland and honorary CHE Virtual Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia. She holds a PhD in Postcolonial and World Literature in English, achieved from the School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Queensland. She was also a 2019 Graduate Digital Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Digital Scholar’s Hub. Salma published scholarly articles in South Asian Review, Asiatic, Gitanjali and Beyond, IIUC Studies, and Transnational Literature and poems and book reviews in Hecate and Transnational Literature. She also presented in sixteen prestigious seminars and conferences in Australia, England, and Bangladesh. Her current project includes a first monograph Entrapment and Breaking Free: Mapping Migrant Emotions in Bangladeshi Diaspora Novels in English, and a bilingual book of poems, If You Read Poems, A Lark Sings.