Beyond the borders: The transversal adventures of graphic novels

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Barahouiepasandi, Haniyeh, French - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Blatt, Ari, French, University of Virginia

This dissertation analyzes the concept of the border in two contemporary Francophone Middle Eastern graphic novels in which the negotiation of transcultural, transnational and geopolitical issues is addressed. This project shows how Marjane Satrapi in Persepolis and Zeina Abirached in A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return challenge our understanding about the continual instability of geopolitical borders in authoritarian contexts and war zones. Indeed, this dissertation asks how the graphic novel functions in its visual and narrative structure to loosen the perceived boundaries between individuals, cultures, and geographies. The authors in this study turn the graphic novel into a site to (re)negotiate their identities and re-view the violence of living in revolution and wars in the Middle East. By moving outside their homeland borders, these writers immerse themselves in multiple cultures/geographies and cultivate transcultural identities. Their mobility patterns have influenced other writers especially women from the Middle East and need new configurations.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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