Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Advisor

Gil-Gomez, Ellen

Second Advisor

Rhodes, Jacqueline

Third Advisor

Yousif, Salaam


In her novel Arabian Jazz, Diana Abu-Jaber attempts to explore the Arab American identity as something new; as an identity that exists related to, but ultimately separate from, the Arab and American identities from which it was originally created. This thesis discusses the emergence of the depiction of the Arab American female identity in the novel, examining how the characters explore issues of race, class, imperialism, and sex within both the Arab and the American cultures as those issues shape female identity. The thesis also presents a rhetorical analysis of the speeches that allow the characters a voice with respect to how identity is shaped and reshaped throughout the novel.