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Reading: Art and Violence in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced: Reading Western Domination over Muslim Represe...

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Art and Violence in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced: Reading Western Domination over Muslim Representation in Amir and Emily’s Relationship

Author:

McCalee Cain

Seattle University, US
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Abstract

Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, grapples with Islamophobia, post-9/11 racialization of South Asians, and the possibilities of Muslim identity. The play recounts the tragic descent of Amir, a New York Lawyer and South Asian Muslim, from his precarious belonging in upper-class New York society to the devastating fulfillment of violent racial stereotypes about Muslim men. This paper considers Amir’s relationship with his wife Emily, a white artist, as a location of multifaceted and mutually inflicted violence that invites audiences to interrogate stereotypes about Muslim men and confront the harm of white domination over Muslim representation. Emily’s well-intentioned yet problematic control over her husband’s identity and appropriation of Islamic art traditions reflect Western domination over Muslim representation. By highlighting these tensions within Amir and Emily’s marriage, Akhtar deftly locates the impact of Islamophobia and post-9/11 racialization of South Asians in the realm of the personal, confronting audiences with their devastating consequences. 

How to Cite: Cain, M., 2022. Art and Violence in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced: Reading Western Domination over Muslim Representation in Amir and Emily’s Relationship. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 14(2), pp.1–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.0391
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Published on 02 Jun 2022.
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