Unmaking of a Narrative Landscape: Life Writing with Refugees
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My paper presents the process of a cross-genre life writing inspired by Marlene Kadar's work. I argue that life writing serves best for my book on Syrian women refugee narratives collected in North America, Europe, and Turkey, as a dynamic and productive literary form because it provides me the textual freedom for experimenting with interviewer's self-inscription and representation along with the narrators' without ascribing a hierarchical role or structure. I have used the term "oral history" to describe my work in response to meet the standards of mainstream and discipline-oriented academia and grant applications; however, I also refer to it as "documentary literary prose" to which life writing serves as an umbrella term. Among the refugee representations I aim to challenge through my writing are of victimized, vulnerable, subordinate Syrian women.