Marwa Mahmoud


The year 1948 marked a turning point in the Palestinian history and a shift in the process of art production. Nakba constituted drastic changes on the political, social and demographic contexts of the Palestinians. That was necessarily followed by a similar alteration in the forms of expression adopted to articulate the new status quo of the land and its people. The artistry of the Palestinians emerged as surmounting the imposed limitations of Israeli occupation and opened up new spaces for freedom of expression denied to Palestinians. The fragmented Palestinians functioned creatively as they articulated their diverse experiences of displacement and alienation through different modes of art producing a mosaic structure that dynamically served the Palestinian cause. This thesis attempts to study the variations of the Palestinian cause with special reference to the human rights issues expressed in different genres: novel, novella, poetry, theatrical performance, cartoons and cinema. The various genres examine different authors and different experiences of artistic expression. The voices are Palestinian as in the case of Ghassan Kanafani, Sharif Elmusa, Naji al-Ali, and Hany Abu Assad, and also non-Palestinian as in the case of Egyptian-Italian novelist, Randa Ghazy and the voice of the American Rachel Corrie resurrected in a play edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner. These voices adopt different genres -- a novella in Arabic (Kanafani), poetry in English (Elmusa), cartoons (al-Ali), film (Abu Assad), a novel in Italian (Ghazy), and a play in English (Rickman and Viner). The variety of genres and languages complement each other in drawing a vivid portrait of dispossessed Palestinians, denial of their human rights, and the ways of creatively expressing the Palestinian predicament.


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2016

First Advisor

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 1

Nimis, Steven

Committee Member 2

Melaney, William


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item