AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Challenging Stereotypes : Randa Abdel-Fattah's Use of Parody in Does My Head Look Big in This?
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article explores anti-Muslim stereotypes and strategies for combating them as presented in Randa Abdel-Fattah's first novel for young readers, Does My Head Look Big in This? First published in 2005, in the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States and Bali, the novel focuses on the everyday life of a second-generation Palestinian teenager who decides, as she puts it, to wear the hijab "full time" in a predominantly non-Muslim school in Australia. As will be argued here, stereotypes of Muslims and, in particular, Muslim women present not only challenges for the novel's central protagonist but also sites for her intervention. Central to this discussion is theoretical work by Judith Butler, whose notion of parody emphasizes the destabilizing effect that parody has for otherwise oppressive images and stereotypes. Rather than engage in a patient, rational, and didactic discussion with what are essentially impatient and irrational representations, Does My Head Look Big in This? adopts a strategy of parody-an exaggerated, often funny, redeployment of anti-Muslim stereotypes-in order to expose the ignorance wherein they originate. In this way, it will be argued, the protagonist of Abdel-Fattah's novel is not only "challenged" by anti-Muslim stereotypes, she "challenges back."' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Bookbird vol. 53 no. 2 2015 8741599 2015 periodical issue 2015 pg. 30-35
Last amended 21 Jul 2015 09:35:13
30-35 Challenging Stereotypes : Randa Abdel-Fattah's Use of Parody in Does My Head Look Big in This?small AustLit logo Bookbird