Lida Amiri

Postgraduate Research Student


Lida Amiri researches alternative diaspora narratives at the University of Liverpool. Her thesis, a comparative study of contemporary translingual authors of Afghanistani background, is entitled: ‘Rethinking World Literature and Diasporic Writing: the Case of Afghanistani Translingual Authors Khaled Hosseini and Atiq Rahimi.' Research grants from the BCLA and the FfWG have provided her with related opportunities to pursue her studies as well as to visit archives and libraries in London and Paris. She has spoken at conferences arranged by the Fulbright Committee and Maison Heinrich Heine and has presented her research at the following academic institutions: The University of Sydney, SOAS University of London, Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV), The University of Melbourne, The University of Oxford, The University of Leeds, The University of Berlin.

Funded by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Lida Amiri obtained her Master’s degree (first-class honours) in education, literary and linguistic studies at the University of Wuppertal and has been a student and ARC research assistant at the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne and the University of Wuppertal. Abroad for seven years, she pursued her studies at Webster University, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III), the University of Melbourne and was a Fulbright as well as DAAD Foreign Language Teaching Assistant. Lida Amiri is fluent in German, English, French and Farsi/Dari.

Currently, Lida Amiri is a CE lecturer and pursues her LiNK placement at National Museums Liverpool, where she is organising the FIHRM 2018 conference and working on their archive. Additionally, Lida Amiri is a member of the Student Action for Refugees society and a PGR student representative on various committees at the University of Liverpool. In May 2018, Lida Amiri organised the AHRC- and ISIC-funded interdisciplinary workshop “Refugees in Literature, Film, Art and Media: Perspectives on the Past and Present”. This event as part of the 2018 Writing on the Wall festival ‘Crossing Borders’ included talks by Prix Goncourt-winning author and cinéaste Atiq Rahimi, journalist Daniel Trilling, photographer Frédéric Lecloux and writer Nasruddin Saljuqi, plus panels with other experts such as A/Prof. Wali Ahmadi (University of California, Berkeley), Dr. Dominic Davies (University of Oxford) and Dr. Emma Bond (University of St. Andrews). For the detailed workshop report, please read the the blog entry that appeared on the WOWfest and AHRC ‘Translating Cultures’ website.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Re-thinking World Literature and Diasporic Writing: the Case of Afghanistani Translingual Authors Khaled Hosseini and Atiq Rahimi."

Contemporary studies of World Literature are predominantly focussed on the sociology of literature and not its distinctive poetics. It is my contention that studies on World Literature would benefit significantly from exploring literary strategies aimed at broadening the current definition of translingual authors living in diasporic contexts. Diaspora studies do not currently offer the complexity needed to define the particularities of literary strategies. This comparative research project endeavours to reveal, via close-readings of their work, the poetics of the two most prominent authors of Afghanistani diasporic origin, Khaled Hosseini and Atiq Rahimi. My close-reading is informed by several theoretical models: narratology, postcolonial studies, and trauma theory.

I argue for a more heterogeneous view of Diaspora, as we cannot speak of Afghanistani diasporic writing per se but must acknowledge specific American and French literary and cultural influences. Furthermore, much literary practice by transnational and translingual writers mainly focuses on challenges caused by the diasporic experiences related to physical displacement. However, Afghanistani translingual authors essentially introduce into their work everyday phenomena, such as gendered violence in Afghanistan, narrated from different non-domestic perspectives. 

Read my blog entry ‘Becoming an expert: Putting Afghanistan on the Cultural Map'