Esra Mirze Santesso, "Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing" (Ohio State UP, 2023)


Recent decades have seen an unprecedented number of comics by and about Muslim people enter the global market. Now, Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing (Ohio State UP, 2023) offers the first major study of these works. Esra Mirze Santesso assesses Muslim comics to illustrate the multifaceted nature of seeing and representing daily lives within and outside of the homeland. Focusing on contemporary graphic narratives that are primarily but not exclusively from the Middle East--from blockbusters like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis to more local efforts such as Leila Abdelrazaq's Baddawi--Santesso explores why the graphic form has become a popular and useful medium for articulating Muslim subjectivities. Further, she shows how Muslim comics "bear witness" to a range of faith-based positions that complicate discussions of global ummah or community, contest monolithic depictions of Muslims, and question the Islamist valorization of the shaheed, the "martyr" figure regarded as the ideal religious witness. By presenting varied depictions of everyday lives of Muslims navigating violence and militarization, this book reveals the connections between religious rituals and existence in warscapes and invites us to more deeply consider the nature of witnessing itself.

Dr. Esra Santesso received her B.A. from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, and her PhD from the University of Nevada. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia. She specializes in postcolonial theory and literature with an emphasis on Muslim identity, diasporic and immigrant experiences, and human rights narratives. Her first book, Disorientation: Muslim Identity in Contemporary Anglophone Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) investigates the extent to which the questions and theories of postcolonial identity can be applied to Muslim subjects living in the West. She is the co-editor of Islam and Postcolonial Literature (Routledge, 2017), which offers a collection of essays on religion’s role in self-representation explored via film, theater, poetry, visual arts, performance pieces.

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Elizabeth Woock

Elizabeth Allyn Woock an assistant professor in the Department of English and American Studies at Palacky University in the Czech Republic with an interdisciplinary background in history and popular literature. Her specialization falls within the study of comic books and graphic novels.

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