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Esra Mirze Santesso in Conversation with Aaron Meskin for Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing

Book cover and Author Photo
Athens-Clarke County Library, 2025 Baxter Street

In honor of University Press Week, Avid Bookshop and the Athens-Clarke County Library invite the public to an author event and book signing with Esra Mirze Santesso for her book Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing published by Ohio State University Press. This event is on Monday, November 13, 2023, from 7pm-8pm in the Appleton Auditorium at the Athens-Clarke County Library. Esra Mirze Santesso will be in conversation with Aaron Meskin, who is the head of Philosophy at the University of Georgia. There will be a signing after the discussion.

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Recent decades have seen an unprecedented number of comics by and about Muslim people enter the global market. Now, Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing 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. 


Esra Mirze Santesso is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Disorientation: Muslim Identity in Contemporary Anglophone Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-editor of Islam and Postcolonial Literature (Routledge, 2017). Her essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Religion and Literature, Critical Muslim, Postcolonial InterventionsRecherche Littéraire / Literary Research, The Comparatist, and Postcolonial Text. Her interview with Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize winner for literature in 2006, came out in PMLA.


Aaron Meskin is a professor and head of Philosophy at the University of Georgia. He works on a variety of issues in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Meskin has published numerous articles on comics and co-edited the Routledge Companion to Comics (Routledge 2016) and The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach (Wiley-Blackwell 2012).”

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