Arab-American Diaspora and the “Third Space”: A Study of Selected Poems by Sam Hamod

Aseel Abdulateef Taha

Abstract


Arab-Americans are an essential part of the multi-ethnic scene in the United States of America. They are increasingly making their voices louder. However, the process of Americanization has shaped Arab-American experience and literature both directly and indirectly. The early immigrants faced the pressures of assimilation into the American society, while also trying to preserve their Arab identity in the American-born generation. Cultural issues that are related to the immigrants’ experience, like biculturalism, bilingualism and dualism, are vitally depicted in Arab-American poetry. The American-born poets of Arab descent find in poetry a way through which they could express the dilemma of the Arab diaspora. Sam Hamod is one of the contemporary Lebanese-American literary figures whose works reflect the cultural conflicts from which the immigrants and their descendants suffer. Many of his poems deal with the concept of the “Third Space,” presented by the post-colonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha. It is a hybrid space in which the hyphenated individuals are stuck. In the multicultural and multiracial environment of the United States, the immigrants’ offspring occupy this in-between position where diverse cultures meet and clash in an endless process of identity splitting.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ells.v8n2p29

Copyright (c) 2018 Aseel Abdulateef Taha

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