National Library of Medicine History Talk - Dr. Soha Bayoumi, “COVID Comics: Decentering White Narratives in Graphic Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Kenneth Koyle's picture
March 30, 2023
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Contemporary History, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Public Health

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History Talk, “COVID Comics: Decentering White Narratives in Graphic Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” to be held virtually on Thursday, March 30, at 2pm ET,

Join us to welcome our speaker Soha Bayoumi, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Medicine, Science, and the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University.

The Graphic Medicine Manifesto (2015) defines Graphic Medicine as “the intersection of the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare.” Since the field emerged over a decade ago as a legitimate area of scholarly inquiry, artistic creativity, and interest for medical professionals, patients, and caregivers alike, the NLM has engaged with it in different ways, growing its collection of graphic narratives exploring experiences of illness and organizing a traveling exhibition, “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived & Well-Drawn!” through display panels and a variety of events to raise awareness about this burgeoning field. Despite efforts to diversify the field of Graphic Medicine, many have lamented the fact that it continued to center white narratives. In this talk, Dr. Bayoumi explores the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed this. She argues that the nature of the pandemic, as a major global event affecting health all over the planet and disproportionately impacting communities of color, meant that many more BIPOC and other people of the global majority have produced diverse narratives of COVID, graphic and otherwise. She claims that COVID’s diversifying effect on Graphic Medicine is indelible and is paving the way for the expression of many more diverse graphic narratives of health and illness.  

Participate in the Q&A via the live feedback interface of the videocast.

Individuals with disabilities who need other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time for coordination.

Visit Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM History of Medicine Division, to read our interview with Dr. Bayoumi.

This free program, like all NLM History Talks, will be live-streamed globally, closed-captioned live, and subsequently archived in the NIH Videocast archive of History of Medicine programs.

 NLM History Talks promote awareness and use of NLM and related historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The series also supports the commitment of the NLM to recognize the diversity of its collections—which span ten centuries, encompass a range of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe—and to foreground the voices of people of color, women, and individuals of a variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds who value these collections and use them to advance their research, teaching, and learning. Learn more here.

Contact Info: 

Kenneth M. Koyle

Deputy Chief, History of Medicine Division

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Contact Email: