The Middle East through Graphic Novel
How do young Middle Easterners grow up and get by? How do states, families, wars, religions, displacement and patriarchy shape their lives? In this course, we will examine the coming of age as children grow up to become adults, learn and negotiate layers of hierarchies of authority, class, gender, and violence in the Middle East /West Asia. We will trace the role of capitalism, colonialism and modernization, which shapes the global history in the meanings and experiences of the youth from major and minor ethnic, language or religious communities of the region. To do so, we will explore the graphic novel genre, a hybrid form that became very popular among Middle Eastern artists and writers who mastered it to narrate their personal stories interwoven in the region's sociopolitical and cultural issues. Through these graphic novels, we will learn not only how to understand the commonalities and differences of the writers¿ respective societies¿ history, culture and politics but also how to read words through pictures. Each graphic novel we read will provide us a platform to get into the world of ordinary people making sense of their lives in the unfolding macro processes that affect their families and families. Their stories of struggles, intimacy and resilience will give us a chance to understand the Middle East, beyond the headlines about conflict and deprivation. One graphic novel will be assigned each week. The class is appropriate for beginning students, non-majors, as well as upper level and graduate students, and it may be taken for different levels of credit. All readings will be in English.