2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

The Unexpected Connections of Poetry and Mythology: Examining A Nostalgist's Map of America by Agha Shahid Ali
Cassandra J. Runge
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Greek mythology retold in the context of Nazi Germany… the vanishing Native American cultures of the Southwest United States… a popular Arabic love story… a biblical passage… Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Georgia O’Keefe. Although these elements may seem disparately independent, they all share space in the single collection of poetry, A Nostalgist’s Map of America (1991) by Agha Shahid Ali. Within its pages, these cultural stories and icons, along with many others, are blended together and reworked into new forms, thereby given new meanings. Ali reconfigures these various pieces of cultures and mythologies in order to reconcile his own diverse past, describe his perception of America, universalize his poetic themes, and most importantly, to make sense of a pluralistic world.

Keywords: poetry, mythology, Agha Shahid Ali, pluralism, America


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-3
Location: VH 1304
Time: 10:15

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