UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Uprootedness : dwelling on life through disrupted language Qasim, Wasan


Leaving one’s homeland involves seeking recognition in new surroundings, coming to terms with the reality of displacement, resisting the uprootedness or living in memories. In this thesis, I tackle the idea of being displaced and living away from one’s own place of birth, whether the leaving was by force or by choice, whether it was a physical or mental displacement and whether the result was negative or positive. I explore these questions: How does one navigate through the complex journey of reconstructing one’s life in a new place? Does writing poetry heal some of the suffering? Can one leave the past and live in the present? I also try to explore questions related to the miseries of war, the complexities of bilingualism, and the cultural and identity shifts associated with the teaching of English in the context of non-native speaker teachers and the challenges they face. Using the methodology of poetic inquiry, I attempt to reflect on the topic of starting a new life and tackling nostalgia by breaking up the language and displacing words through generative processes to re-present the text and unearth meaning by mapping my life’s journey and thus exploring the notion of what makes a home a home. My thesis is essentially an attempt to invoke the past to reconstruct the present through experimenting with different forms of processed iterations through different constraints to produce poems that reflect my journey. I am hoping that the emerging poems based on autoethnography through the lens of poetic inquiry will resonate with others, no matter how they interpret them.

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