2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Nation and Identity in Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows
Therese M. Spollen
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Kamila Shamsies novel Burnt Shadows, migration and relationships play a significant role in forming personal identity. This paper will draw on Post-Colonial Theory to examine the consequences of the severance of Hiroko and her son Raza from a national identity due to their immigration. Lack of a national identity forces both Hiroko and Raza to rely upon the people around them to construct a personal identity. Living with Sajjad Ashraf, Hirokos husband and Razas father, and interacting with the Weiss-Burtons, close family friends whose lives are inextricably entwined with the Ashrafs, grounds Hiroko and Raza in a world that revolves around these relationships. No matter where they reside, these relationships give Hiroko and Raza their identity. This paper will examine how immigration leads to a sense of dislocation and a loss of belonging, creating the need to form identity from the strong bonds that exist between family and friends.

Keywords: Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows, Post-Colonial, identity, national identity, relationships, migration

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-5
Location: VH 1000
Time: 9:00

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