In recent years, following the success of the culturally and critically renowned Maus and Persepolis, the non-superhero comic scene has seen the rise of intimate graphic memoirs that deal with an intersection of marginalized identities arising from diaspora, war, disability, invisible illnesses, and/or queerness. In these works, we do not simply read about marginalized lives, instead the comic form opens a window into the author-protagonist’s life—which diminishes the gap between readers and the minority subjects. The latter’s struggles are explicated via intimate pictorial narratives that solicit deeply affective responses. This edited collection seeks to examine how Graphic Narratives can be utilized to subvert the domination of popular discourse by existing power structures, and, consequently, to decolonize crip, queer and diasporic spaces, by considering the following questions (amongst others):
- What makes the Image-Textual form conducive to articulating the complex liminal positions of their marginalized subjects?
- How do formal features of the comic form—panel anatomy, gutters, spatial arrangement, lettering, color scheme—aid in making tangible identities that fall at the intersection of two (or more) marginalized positions, such as being queer and having a mood disorder (Ellen Forney’s Marbles) or being queer and Muslim (Sezen’s Snapshots of a Girl)?
- In their representation of intimate lived experiences of minorities, can graphic memoirs rewrite the dominant ideology from within? How does the current comic culture encourage insight into the actual lives of the marginalized instead of resorting to essentialist notions?
- What are the visual rhetorical strategies that enable empathy in readers with characters whose lives are far removed from their own, socio-culturally?
- In lieu of the above, and in comics’ evocative representations of discrimination and macroaggressions faced by their author-protagonists in their day-to-day life owing to their disability, sexuality or race, how can we employ these memoirs to function as literatures of resistance in an increasingly divisive world? Put another way, what is the role of genres such as ‘Graphic Medicine’ in social justice work?
Please submit a proposal of no longer than 500 words, and a short biographical note, to Kay Sohini at email@example.com by July 31, 2020.