2020/ 2021

Amal Eqeiq

Indigenous Affinities: Comparative Study in Mayan and Palestinian Narratives

Previous Fellowships: 2019/ 2020

is Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams College. She is currently working on her manuscript, Indigenous Affinities: Comparative Study in Mayan and Palestinian Narratives. Her interdisciplinary research includes modern Arab literature, popular culture, Palestine Studies, feminism(s), performance studies, translation, indigenous studies in the Americas, the Global South, literary history, hip-hop, critical border studies, and decoloniality. She has contributed to the Contemporary Levant Journal, The Routledge Companion to World Literature and World History, Journal of Palestine Studies, Transmotion: An Online Journal of Postmodern Indigenous Studies, MadaMasr, Jadaliyya, and Kohl among others. She has received several awards, including a writing residency at Hedgebrook, the Dean’s Medal in Humanities from the University of Washington, and PARC NEH/FPIRI research fellowship. She earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington (2013). Eqeiq also keeps a Facebook blog called “Diaries of a Hedgehog Feminist.” From November 2019 to July 2021, Eqeiq will be an affiliated EUME Fellow associated with the Lateinamerika‐Institut of Freie Universität Berlin.

Indigenous Affinities: Comparative Study in Mayan and Palestinian Narratives

Eqeiq’s book project investigates similarities between contemporary Mayan and Palestinian narratives of indigeneity based on their shared histories of land struggle, practices of autonomy, quests for liberation, and collective resistance to systematic structural racism, military oppression, and colonial violence. Indigenous Affinities explores a multivalent dialogue between Mexico and Palestine, by going beyond the long history of Latin American solidarity with Palestine and engaging Palestine with Chiapas as parallel geographies of indigenous struggle. Her theoretical frameworks examine critical modalities pertinent to comparative reading in indigenous literature from the Global South, namely affinity, borderlands, and indigenous performance as a multiform practice of decoloniality. These modalities look at a range of contemporary literary texts in Mayan literature in Chiapas, Mexico, alongside Palestinian literature in Israel, while simultaneously dismantling the colonial borders that shaped their cartographies of minoritization and challenging the colonial construction of the very category of the “literary.” Therefore, Eqeiq examines oral texts, mostly community performances in memorial sites in rural areas, and rap music as prominent examples of indigenous oral literature that must be considered primary texts. Through this South‐South and periphery-periphery dialogue, Eqeiq goes beyond solidarity to engage closely with indigenous literary and cultural traditions deemed minor despite their global vision for citizenship, liberation, and decolonization.