EXILE 2.0. An analysis of Afrah Nasser’s blog authorship

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Author: Lorna Bartram; [2015-06-09]

Keywords: arabiska; blogging; exile; Yemen; connected migrant;

Abstract: The thesis analyses how blogging in the Arabic blogosphere conditions politicalauthorship in exile and how new digital media technologies create novel formsof presence at a distance. This purpose is fulfilled by an in-depth analysis of theworks by Yemeni blogger Afrah Nasser. The thesis relies on media theory in relation to the blog as a medium and thesociological concept of “connected migrant” to understand the literary genre ofexile literature in the context of the blogosphere. The corpus under investigation in this thesis consists of two blogs created byNasser, the first located on afrahnasser.blogspot.com and the second blog is al-Dimuqratiyya kalima murra (Democracy is a bitter word). The analysis is basedon selected posts from both of Nasser’s blogs, which were published during thetime of the 15th of January 2011 to the 1st of May 2015. Being uprooted, a central theme in 20th century writing, is no longer the sameexperience as digital technologies make global communication possible on amuch larger scale and available to more people. The spatial disruption inherentin migration is today accompanied by instant ICT-mediated communication withthe homeland. In Nasser's authorship this is abundantly present, as she oftenreturns to the immediate conversations with her friends and family in Yemen,often taking place on a daily basis, as grounds for her exile writing. This,however, does not erase some of the conventional characteristics of exileliterature, for example expressing a longing for returning to the homeland andfrustration with the predicaments of exile. The main difference between 20thcentury exile authorship and Nasser’s blog authorship is a higher degree ofpresence and connectivity afforded by the blog as a medium.

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