Online Lecture: Back home: Narratives of migration, nostalgia and cultural translation.

27 June 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


You are warmly invited to join Dr Akkad Alhussein (UCL), for an online lecture - ‘Back home: Narratives of migration, nostalgia and cultural translation in Anglophone Arab women’s literature’. The UCL Global Translation Lecture series is free and open to all.

This event is free.

Event Information

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Kathryn Batchelor

‘Back home: Narratives of migration, nostalgia and cultural translation in Anglophone Arab women’s literature’ - Dr Akkad Alhussein (UCL). Tuesday 27 June 2023, 1-2pm (GMT)

In migration contexts, nostalgia can be a melancholic longing for a bygone past and a lost home but also a constructive attempt to counter the rupture of migration and build a new home in the here and now. In a post-colonial literary framework, migrants’ daily negotiations of home and difference are shaped by inequalities in the distribution of power, calling for narratives that contest discourses of cultural hegemony.

The talk will explore the role of nostalgic representations of home and identity in fictional narratives of migration and displacement written by contemporary Arab women writers writing in English. I view these narratives and negotiations as fraught instances of cultural translation that emerge from writing in the language of the “other” as well as migrants’ engagement in the cross-cultural and cross-temporal production of meaning through narratives of longing and belonging that connect past and present in a hybrid space defined by minority. I base my discussion on a concept of nostalgia that recognizes both its disabling and enabling dimensions.

Hence, the talk aims at teasing out some of the entanglements of Anglophone Arab women writers’ depictions of nostalgic narratives in fictive representations of the Arab migration experience as cultural encounter. The questions that I ask are: What are the overarching tropes and (counter)narratives that underly these configurations of home and dislocation? What framing strategies are involved and with what consequences for the construction of otherness?

About the Speaker

Dr Akkad Alhussein

Post-doctoral fellow (MSCA) at UCL and CenTraS

Dr Akkad Alhussein is a post-doctoral fellow (MSCA) at University College London and affiliated with the CenTraS – Centre for Translation Studies. He holds a PhD in Translation Studies from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz where he also obtained his MA in Language, Translation and Culture. His research focus has been translation theory, history and ethics. His first book, based on his doctoral thesis, was published in 2020 by Frank & Timme under the title: Vom Zieltext zum Ausgangstext: das Problem der retrospektiven Wirksamkeit der Translation und deren Unsichtbarkeit als translationswissenschaftlicher Gegenstand. His current research is developing around diasporic literary representations of home, memory and identity, and he is now working on a second book on nostalgia and cultural translation in Anglophone Arab literature and migration narratives.