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Politics of Location in PersepolisThe Social and Literary Construction of the Place, Space, and Belonging for Iranian Women in Persepolis versus Iran

Politics of Location in PersepolisThe Social and Literary Construction of the Place, Space, and... This article offers a transnational feminist reading of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis based on the genealogy of politics of location. Articulated by Adrienne Rich in 1984 and criticized and evolved by Karen Caplan, the concept of politics of location provides a framework for rereading the graphic novel that highlights intersectional aspects of identities that appeared in the text. Through this lens this article looks at how Satrapi ties her personal story to the story of other Iranian women and at the nuances of the identities she represents to her Western readers. Notably, the article examines the politics of writing trauma, gender, and race into the text and analyzes the picture of other Iranian women through the mirror of Satrapi’s graphic novel. It argues that in writing Persepolis, Satrapi has made an undeniable contribution to challenging the dominant narratives of nationhood and female citizenship by documenting the trauma of the Iranian Left in the history of the nation. However, because of her specific color-blind politics of race and antireligious politics of gender, her work overlooks some groups of Iranian women’s existence and experiences. Thus this article argues against reading and teaching Persepolis as representative of Iranian women or a universal version of Third World feminism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Middle East Women's Studies Duke University Press

Politics of Location in PersepolisThe Social and Literary Construction of the Place, Space, and Belonging for Iranian Women in Persepolis versus Iran

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Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies
ISSN
1552-5864
eISSN
1558-9579
DOI
10.1215/15525864-9767870
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article offers a transnational feminist reading of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis based on the genealogy of politics of location. Articulated by Adrienne Rich in 1984 and criticized and evolved by Karen Caplan, the concept of politics of location provides a framework for rereading the graphic novel that highlights intersectional aspects of identities that appeared in the text. Through this lens this article looks at how Satrapi ties her personal story to the story of other Iranian women and at the nuances of the identities she represents to her Western readers. Notably, the article examines the politics of writing trauma, gender, and race into the text and analyzes the picture of other Iranian women through the mirror of Satrapi’s graphic novel. It argues that in writing Persepolis, Satrapi has made an undeniable contribution to challenging the dominant narratives of nationhood and female citizenship by documenting the trauma of the Iranian Left in the history of the nation. However, because of her specific color-blind politics of race and antireligious politics of gender, her work overlooks some groups of Iranian women’s existence and experiences. Thus this article argues against reading and teaching Persepolis as representative of Iranian women or a universal version of Third World feminism.

Journal

Journal of Middle East Women's StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

References