2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Geography of the Self: Landscape and Identity in Agha Shahid Ali's "Postcard from Kashmir"
Jaime N. Chambers
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Much of the poetry in Agha Shahid Ali's The Half-Inch Himalayas hinges upon a sense of displacement, both physical and mental, from one's homeland -- and no poem aches with that distance more vividly than the opening composition, "Postcard from Kashmir." Gazing at a four-by-six-inch photograph of the Himalayas, the speaker draws a direct comparison between the image, his home, and himself, such that his own identity as a Kashmiri becomes wrapped up in this mountain range and entwined with what it represents. In this paper I explore the notion of landscape as a definer of self, navigating the connection between the contours of one's homeland and the nature of one's identity.

Keywords: Agha Shahid Ali, ecocriticism, identity, poetry, landscape

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 25-1
Location: VH 1408
Time: 1:15

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