Gender, Space, And Fantasy: Women’s Heterotopic Identities In Contemporary Japanese And Iranian Fiction

Asl, Moussa Pourya (2022) Gender, Space, And Fantasy: Women’s Heterotopic Identities In Contemporary Japanese And Iranian Fiction. In: International Conference on Malay, Arabic and English Literature 2022, 19 - 20 September 2022, UniSZA, Terengganu Malaysia. (Submitted)

Download (419kB) | Preview


The growing body of studies on heterotopic cartographies and literary works have drawn attention to the profound importance of cultural and political resistance as well as to women’s own agency in reconfigurations of spatial arrangements. Drawing upon Foucault’s theorization of heterotopia, this comparative study aims to examine the Japanese writer Hiroko Oyamada’s The Hole (2014) and the Iranian novelist Shokoofeh Azar’s The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (2017) as case studies of what I label heterotopic aesthetics: a creatively different [magical] array of emplacements and embodiments (recreation of other spaces and bodies) whereby the mainstream prescriptions of gender relations are dismantled and a new order of beings is recreated at the same time. The novels chronicle the stories of two female characters (a Japanese woman called Asahi and an Iranian female character named Bahar) in the spatially and socially peripheral settings of a Japanese countryside and a North Iran rural area called Razan. I argue that both novels reflect and contest dominant discourses on space, gender and identity through a range of phenomena that are demonstrators of heterotopia: discordant universes, non-linear time, defamiliarized worlds, and volatile subjectivities. The study concludes that both novels derive from and undermine maledominated discourses of utopianism and social realism.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > H1-99 Social sciences (General)
Divisions: Pusat Pengajian Ilmu Kemanusiaan (School of Humanities) > Conference or Workshop Item
Depositing User: Mr Aizat Asmawi Abdul Rahim
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2022 03:09
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2022 03:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item