My study delineates and sheds light on an emergent (and increasingly growing) body of graphic narratives written in English by first and 1.5 generation immigrants from the former socialist nations to US and Canada. My initial corpus includes works by the Czech-born American illustrator Peter Sis (The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, 2007), by the Russian-born Vera Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost 2011), and Anya Ulinich (Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, 2014), by the Ukrainian-born Julia Alekseyeva (Soviet Daughter, A Graphic Revolution, 2016), and second generation Serbian immigrant Nina Bunjevac (Heartless, 2012, Fatherland: A Family History 2014). I examine representations of childhood, forms of storytelling and memory cultures enabled by the graphic form. I inquire into the way these narratives contribute to images of childhood under or in the immediate aftermath of totalitarianism, to the production and the consumption of Communism in Europe and/or the Yugoslav wars, as well as their memories and afterlives in contemporary global culture. More specifically, I inquire into the way the post/socialist times are rendered through the medium of comics; how the medium of comics (frames, gutters, drawing style, sequential effects, the interaction between words and images, the connections between drawing and photography, etc.) represent childhood, migration and memories from the former socialist European bloc, and, in turn, the way graphic frames contribute to the rendering of Eastern European/ Soviet histories. I am also interested in exploring the way graphic narratives relate to and incorporate the official iconography of communism and to what end, and I attempt to find out the particular aspects of the medium of comics that can speak in unique ways to the experience of socialism and its aftermath. Finally, I discuss how graphic narratives by immigrants from the former socialist countries contribute to the mainstream North American images and ideas of post/socialism.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2019/07/31|
- Graphic narratives
- memory studies
- exiles in North America
Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.