English Honors Theses

Date of Creation


Document Type

Departmental Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Prof. Daniel DiCenso


The critical question this thesis seeks to answer is how a relationship between hip-hop and South Asian literature can be developed in such a way that one is able understand and address both the present and future state of America in a post 9/11 context. To answer this question, three hip-hop songs will be analyzed through their lyrics and instrumentation with a specific focus on their expression of the other: “Cops Shot the Kid” by Nas, “Flag Shopping” and “Patriot Act” by Heems. One novel and play will be analyzed in similar form: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid and Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Following the hip-hop and literature sections will be a comparative analysis of each medium’s expression of the other within a post 9/11 context. As for a provisional argument, I believe that it would be accurate to conclude that, through a comparative analysis of these two mediums, an America moving forward develops a blur in the identities of South Asian Americans. By this, I mean that the forced assimilation they endure as a result of systemic racism has produced an effect on South Asian Americans that puts them at odds with what culture they most identify with, which ultimately reduces their own culture to a choice that they have to make.


Reader: Prof. Susan Sweeney