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Other Realisms: A Theory of the Arabic Fantastic (2022-2023)

Alexandra Shraytekh, Research Area 3: "Future Perfect"
Postdoctoral Research Project

The project captures a deviation in Arabic political aesthetics, a movement away from verisimilitude towards modes that conjure the supernatural in order to render visible those sub- and supra-national communities that remain in the shadows of the postcolonial project— ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual minorities, as well as people with disabilities, migrant laborers, and refugees. Both a history of the contemporary Arabic fantastic and an analysis of its central texts, the book shows how engagements with the supernatural open up new temporal, spatial, and affective terrains of being and becoming for minorities on their own terms, at a time when classical Realism falls short, leaving no room to imagine otherwise.