Astrid Ottosson al-Bitar
Previous research

In my doctoral thesis I Can Do Nothing against the Wish of the Pen. Studies in the Short Stories of Widād Sakākīnī, 2005, I analysed seventeen short stories written by the Syrian- Lebanese woman writer Widād Sakākīnī (1913-1991). With the help of structuralist theories (Greimas) as well as poststructuralist theories about intertextuality (Genette and Culler) the study identified various literary strategies used by the writer in her capacity as a woman writer to challenge the dominant male discourse within which she was working at the same time as she received its acceptance.

Current research

I am working on a study on the Iraqi novel in exile in Sweden. There are at present around 15 Iraqi novelists in Sweden. Most of them arrived in the beginning of the 1990s seeking refuge from the Iraqi regime at the time. In their texts the homeland Iraq as well as the present situation in Sweden are dominant themes. I see the novels as counter narratives that challenge Saddam Hussein’s official image of Iraq as well as the dominant view of the West on the refugee. As tools for the study are used e.g. Richard Terdiman’s discussion on discourse and counter-discourse and Bakhtin’s theories on the novel.


Gender studies, postcolonial literature