Sabbagh Lecture: "Comics, Gender, and Knowledge Production in the Arab World"
The Sabbagh Lecture is presented by the UA School of Anthropology and sponsored by Drs. Entisar and Adib Sabbagh. Both the lecture and the reception that follows are free and open to the public.
About the Speaker
Sherine Hamdy, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, earned her Ph.D. from New York University and studies medical anthropology, bioethics, and science and technology in the Middle East. She uses comics to bring her research to a wider audience and is co-author, with Coleman Nye, of Lissa: A Story of Friendship, Medical Promise, and Revolution, the debut anthropological graphic novel of the University of Toronto Press’ ethnoGRAPHIC series. Her current research projects include a collaborative project, with Soha Bayoumi, which critically engages with physicians’ roles in the recent political upheavals in the Arab world; and a collaborative project with artist/scholar Myra El-Mir on the production of Feminist and Queer Arab comics.
Professor Hamdy is the author of Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt. She has received numerous fellowships and awards for her work, including the 2009 Rudolph Virchow Award from the Society of Medical Anthropology.
About the Lecture
In the Arab world, particularly with the onset of the popular uprisings, there has also been an explosion in comics production for adult readers. Much of the new comics production critically interrogates social constraints and norms and is able to do so via channels of production and dissemination that lie outside of the mainstream industry.
This talk will focus on a subset of these counter-cultural comics: those representing feminist and queer perspectives in the Arab world and diaspora. Professor Hamdy will also talk about her own experience in using Arab comics for furthering feminist research within the academy, as a co-creator of the graphic book Lissa: A Story of Friendship, Medical Promise, and Revolution. This piece of ethno-fiction is a feminist portrayal of illness and disease amidst the Egyptian revolution, thus highlighting the imbrication of politics and the body, and the revolutionary potential of friendship. She will also speak of her current experiments in genre and translation, as she works to bring Lissa to Arabic-speaking audiences.