ARABAM 405 - Topics in Arab American Studies
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Islam in Graphic Novels
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Arab American Studies (ARABAM)
Department: LSA American Culture
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course introduces upper-level undergraduate students to graphic novels and comics from and about the Muslim world: from the Arab and Persian Middle East, to South and Southeast Asia, North Africa, and immigrant communities in Europe and the United States. The common theme of the works we examine is the struggle to reconcile Islamic religious and Muslim cultural values with each other, and with imperialism, neocolonialism, democracy, and technology, in the contemporary world context of civil unrest and mass voluntary and refugee migrations.

Subtopics of the course include Muslim feminism, immigrant Islam in North America and Europe, urban Arab cities, Muslim youth cultures, digital Islam, war and childhood, and post 9/11 literary negotiations by Muslim writers. We will read long-form graphic novels, serial comics, other graphic literature excerpts, and complementary critical and secondary works on sequential art and the national settings of the primary works. Graphic novels include The Arab of the Future (Syria/Libya), Zahra’s Paradise (Iran), and Lissa (Egypt). Comics include The Sandman: Ramadan (fabled Baghdad), The 99 (Kuwait), and Ms. Marvel (U.S.).

Our major course goals include deconstructing the role that form and style play in transmitting and questioning ideas and ideologies; analyzing how the graphic medium differs from traditional literary works; and identifying conceptual differences between the terms “Islam” and “Muslim.”

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include one final research paper and its scaffolded drafts, three short response papers, and a group presentation. Students are not required to have any special background in the course subject.

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduate students.

Class Format:

Combined lecture, discussion, and paper workshops.


ARABAM 405 - Topics in Arab American Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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