Close this search box.

Racism through the Eyes of Hybridized Female Playwrights: A Critical Study of Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire

Dr. Ammar Shamil Kadhim Al-Khafaji,

Department of English, College of Arts, University of Baghdad, Bab Al-Muadum Campus, Baghdad, Iraq

Contemporary Arab and Muslim American female playwrights who have been marginalized, especially after September 11th, began gradually to point out the racism, oppression, and marginalization they experience in the United States and Europe because of Islamophobia. They began to uncover the particularities of their own ethnic histories. One of those writers is Heather Raffo, a hybrid Arab American playwright who knows both Arab and American culture and understand both languages. According to Homi Bhabha’s notion of hybridized subjectivity in the third space, Heather Raffo inhibits the rim of an “in between reality” marked by shifting psychic, cultural and territorial boundaries. Equipped with what Edward Said calls “contrapuntal vision,” Raffo is able to look at the issues from different angles to bridge the gap between the east and the west. This paper investigates the representation of Iraqi women in Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desires. This investigation serves as a cultural comparative study by decoding the tropes, traces, and marginalization to probe the protagonists’ subjectivities. It also aims to find the ways in which Iraqi women are subalterns and shed light on their suffering and agony because of successive wars. Furthermore, the paper aims at finding answers to these overriding questions: how do the compassionate and heartbreaking solo narrative performances change the western view of Americans and the refugees caught between the two cultures?

Keywords: Dehumanization, Feminism, Gender, Trans Nationality

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Eighth International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 14-15 February 2023, Ahwaz.