Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2018

Capstone Advisor

Carol Fadda-Conrey

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Health Psychology


In this project I examine identities as they are expressed through the use of language in the novels A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar and The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf. Both novels are coming-of-age narratives of two Arab and Muslim-American female protagonists that depict their exploration of identity as they undergo experiences of war, migration, displacement, and racism in their respective contexts. I explore the protagonists’ negotiation of identity in the face of familial and societal pressure to conform to clearly demarcated categorizations of identity, arguing that the protagonists recognize clear borders between identities as a form of control. The use of language in both texts that combines multiple languages, dialects, and cultural and religious registers thus acts as a form of resistance to a fixed identity, to physical and figurative borders and to control, as the protagonists construct through their language a “third space,” a space in which “home” and “identity” can be multiple and hybrid and where such hybridity opens up possibilities of negotiating and recreating identities beyond fixed borders.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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