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Title: A Saudi representation of America and the Americans : an imagological study of Ghazi Al-Gosaibi's works
Author: Asiri, M. F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 7835
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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Distinct images of America and Americans began to emerge in Saudi culture and literature after the discovery of oil in the Arabian Peninsula since 1938. This historical event not only brought American oil companies to the region but also raised substantial cultural questions about the self and the Other. Later on, the continuous American presence has come for economic and political purposes in Saudi Arabia, such as in the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO, which is called now Saudi ARAMCO), and the Gulf War in 1990-1991. This presence has been reflected in Saudi literature, both poetry and narrative prose. This thesis sets out to study the image of America in Saudi novels in order to understand its dimensions, structures and techniques. The study centres its data and analysis on one significant contemporary Saudi author, Ghazi Al-Gosaibi (1940-2010) who engages consistently with the American theme in most of his writings as characters, spaces, speeches and culture for various purposes. In real life, Al-Gosaibi is well immersed in American culture and has a lot of experience of living in America and socialising/working with Americans. Imagology, or what is called image studies, utilizes concepts and methods which focus on “how certain temperamental characteristics are stereotypically imputed to certain nationalities.” (Beller & Leerssen, 2007). Taking into consideration all Al-Gosaibi works, imagology helps to investigate mainly four key elements in the image: dimensions, narrative techniques, themes and lastly discourses. The study also will compare and contrast images of America with Al- Gosaibi’s works and present the similarities and dissimilarities in term of structure and theme. The thesis is structured around four key themes: cities, women, politics and other images of America. The core argument of this thesis is that the richness representations of America in Al-Gosaibi’s narrative are almost consistent and complementary, regardless of being in various genres and from different times. The depictions of America are used metaphorically to display characteristics of America and Americans as well as to represent issues about selfhood and nationhood. Al-Gosaibi is distinctive and different. This thesis contributes to modern Arabic literary scholarship in the following ways. Firstly, it is one of the initial studies of modern Arabic literature adopting an imagological approach. Imagology is useful not only in analysing the themes, but also the aesthetic features and how they correlate to the images represented. Secondly, English language literary studies on Arabic 2 literature focus on Egypt, the Levant and North Africa, this study redresses the balance not only about Saudi literature but also it sustains the representation of America in modern Arabic literature whereas the focus is usually on Europe. This thesis is one of the pioneer in-depth studies of Al-Gosaibi in the English language. It introduces a major Saudi author and his work to English readers, including first-time translated sections from his works.
Supervisor: Selove, E. ; Phillips, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Imagology ; image studies ; Arabic literature ; Saudi literature ; national character studies ; American Studies