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The Transformative Potential of Black British and British Muslim Literature

Heterotopic Spaces and the Politics of Destabilisation

Lisa Ahrens

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Lisa Ahrens, The Transformative Potential of Black British and British Muslim Literature (2019), transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, ISBN: 9783839447697

Beschreibung / Abstract

This study investigates power, belonging and exclusion in British society by analysing representations of the mosque, the University of Oxford, and the plantation in novels by Leila Aboulela, Robin Yassin-Kassab, Diran Adebayo, David Dabydeen, Andrea Levy, and Bernardine Evaristo.
Lisa Ahrens combines Foucault's theory of heterotopia with elements of Wolfgang Iser's reader-response theory to work out Black British and British Muslim literature's potential for destabilising exclusionary boundaries. In this way, new perspectives open up on the intersections between space, power and literature, intertwining and enriching the discourses of Cultural and Literary Studies.


Lisa Ahrens (Dr. phil.) worked as a research assistant at the University of Paderborn where she taught English Cultural and Literary Studies.


  • Cover
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Black British Literature: Diran Adebayo, David Dabydeen,Bernardine Evaristo, and Andrea Levy
  • British Muslim Literature: Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Aboulela
  • Section One: Theoretical Perspectives
  • Theoretical Framework: Perspectives on Power and Exclusion
  • Theorising (Interactive) Heterotopic Spacesin Black British and British Muslim Literature
  • Section Two: Literary Representations of Heterotopic Spaces
  • The Mosque
  • The University of Oxford
  • The Plantation
  • Section Three: Interactive Heterotopic Spaces
  • Unfamiliar Familiarity: Transforming Genres
  • Closeness and Distance: Creating Ideological Positions for the Reader
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited

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