Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

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Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Peace & Conflict Studies Department

First Advisor

Sangina Patnaik

Second Advisor

Sa'ed Atshan


This thesis, “Motherhood Under Occupation: Literary Representations of Parenthood in Palestinian and South African Resistance Literature” compares cross-culturally the experience of black motherhood during and following Apartheid in South Africa, and Palestinian motherhood in Israel-Palestine, through the lens of social, political and historical oppression of women, and mothers, in South Africa and Israel-Palestine. Furthermore, the experience of motherhood across these two periods is compared through the literary study of two works by black South Africans, Mother to Mother by Sindiwe Magona and Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda, and two works by Palestinians, Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh and the story “Returning to Haifa” by Ghassan Kanafani. The literary exploration of these works is centered on the unique lens that a parental narration provides each work through the broader temporal and intergenerational scope provided by a parental narration, along with the “grievability” that a parental narration awards to the lives of children who are otherwise politically marginalized.