Teaching Leila Aboulela in the context of other authors across cultures: creative writing, the Third Culture Kid phenomenon and Africana womanism

Lily G. N. Mabura


This essay discusses creative writing and critical pedagogical insights gleaned from teaching Leila Aboulela’s fiction in the context of other authors across cultures at the college level in the USA and the UAE, specifically at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the American University of Sharjah. It situates Aboulela’s largely transnational fiction in relation to Africana womanism, the third culture kid phenomenon and its use as a tool for religious and cultural competency in an increasingly polarized post 9/11 world. It also addresses Aboulela’s transgressive stance against the boundaries of gender, class, race, body-ability, and religion, among other factors, in a colonial and postcolonial setting. Works by Aboulela, which are considered in this essay, include “Majed” from her collection Colored Lights (2001) and the novels The Translator (1999), Minaret (2005), and Lyrics Alley (2010).


culture; Leila Aboulela; teaching across cultures; Third Culture Kids; (Post)coloniality; Africana Womanism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v9.n2.97