Agha Shahid Ali: Hyphenated Identities as a Tool for Understanding the Diasporic Sensibility

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The question of identity lies at the nucleus of literary theory, as well as socio-political discourse. The classification of ones identity is often used to analyze and better understand the work of many authors and their lives. However, the issue that arises regarding these questions is the urge to simplify identity as linear and monolithic. This proves problematic as such an approach overlooks major aspects of the authors works, especially in the case of diasporic literature. It does not suffice to simply consider the multifaceted identities of these writers when categorizing them. The realization, of how these identities not only inform the writings of these people but also introduce into the English language flavors from other languages and cultures, is essential for the progress of a diasporic sensibility. A basic methodology is developed in this paper regarding multidimensional realities in poetry, with Agha Shahid Ali as a case-study, to elaborate on how a diasporic author can use and introduce novel forms into the English language.


1-Muhammad Kazim Hussain
Scholar, Department of English Literature, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany.

2-Mahwish Zeeshan
Scholar, Anthropology, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

3-Christoph Houswitschka
Professor, Department of English Literature, Otto-Friedrich-Universität, Bamberg, Germany.


Agha Shahid Ali, Diaspora, Diasporic Literature, English Literature, Hyphenated Identity, Identity, Metaphor

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Published: Dec 2019

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