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Transcending the nation, the Francophone postcolonial: Abouzeid's vectors of global reception for Moroccan Arabic literature

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Leila Abouzeid is one of few Moroccan Arabic authors to receive international recognition through English translation and through publication of her literary texts in the Arab Middle East. Addressing both the content and the circulation of her works, this article considers questions of identity, reception, and language central to Francophone studies. Abouzeid challenges the understanding of French as the primary language of women's emancipation as well as the understanding of Arabic as a language resistant to modern literary innovations. Drawing on sociolinguistic scholarship about the relationship between power and language in post-independent Morocco, this article details the ways that Abouzeid redefines her position relative to language and dissociates Arabic, for both a national and international readership, from political discourses propagated by unjust regimes. Addressing particular nuances of Moroccan society, such as the continuing symbolic status of French, as well as broad themes of class division or the effects of globalization in America and Morocco, Abouzeid situates herself as a cosmopolitan author who addresses a global readership through provocative analyses comparing her own society and those she has visited.

Keywords: Arabic; Leila Abouzeid; North Africa; language hybridism; postcolonial; translation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Texas

Publication date: December 19, 2011

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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