Ms Laili Abdeen
Of Infinity & Nature: Islamic Art & Aesthetics in Contemporary Refugee Narratives
This paper argues how nature in Zoulfa Katouh’s As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow and spatial distortion in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West are not only products of contemporary aesthetics but also principles of Islamic art, such as eternity and infinity. As such, I posit how reading these motifs through the lens of Islamic art and aesthetics imbues these refugee narratives with a sense of transcendental hope and speaks to the relationship between refugees and their environments.
Laili Abdeen is currently pursuing her Master degree by research in English Literature at Nanyang Technological University. She received her B.A. from Nanyang Technological University in English Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing, where she was also Valedictorian for the School of Humanities in the Class of 2021. Her research interests include twentieth and twenty-first-century film and literature, representations of Islam/Muslims in literature, (Islamic) art, and aesthetics. She previously presented her undergraduate research paper on “Asian Minority Representations of Mental Health in Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Inheritance” at the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR-URECA) in 2018.