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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reimagining Transatlantic Iberian Conquests in Postcolonial Narratives and Rewriting Spaces of Resistance

  • Author(s): Rowther, Seher Rabia
  • Advisor(s): Liu, Benjamin M
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

This dissertation analyzes the medieval and colonial imagery in three works which evoke a history of epistemic violence and erasures against indigenous, contemporaneous identities, communities, and traditions of knowledge in Al-Andalus and Latin America after 1492. Darren Aronofsky’s film, The Fountain, Radwa Ashour’s trilogy of Granada, and Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account, all show how fiction and film can both reinforce and subvert the mythology of conquest in the representation of transatlantic, sixteenth-century Iberian empire. Fiction offers a space of resistance to remember the voices of the subaltern, to deconstruct the silences of these histories, and to reflect on the perspectives and experiences of the colonized, occupied and displaced Others of colonial enterprise. Fiction can challenge the Orientalist tropes and imperial gaze which still color the contemporary imagination towards Amerindians, Muslims and Arabs. Reimagining the past speaks to the present, and redraws the blurred lines of historiography and storytelling.

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