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Satrapi: Persepolis

6. Cross-Cultural Communication

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about some potential criticisms of Satrapi's project in Persepolis, focusing in particular on the presentation of Western culture and values in Persepolis and the difficulties of cross-cultural communication.


In this course, Dr Dominic Davies (University of Oxford) explores Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, Persepolis. We begin by thinking about what Persepolis is and what it's about, focusing in particular on the historical events that form the background of the graphic novel, as well as the meaning of term 'graphic novel' itself. After that, we introduce some of the vocabulary used when discussing graphic novels – e.g. panels, frames, gutters – and begin to think about how the form of the graphic novel might interact with its content. In the third module, we think about ideas of framing and perspective, before moving on in the fourth module to consider how Satrapi represents the tension between the adult and adolescent perspectives of her early life in the tension between the verbal and graphical narratives that Persepolis presents. In the fifth, we think about the presentation of Iran and the Middle East in Persepolis, before turning in sixth and final module to Satrapi's presentation of the West in the graphic novel, and some of the broader problems of cross-cultural communication.


Dominic Davies (BA, MA, University of Liverpool, DPhil (Oxon)) is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the English Faculty, University of Oxford. His main research interests include: colonial/postcolonial literature and culture; cultural urban studies; infrastructure and literature; comics and graphic novels; resistance literature.

He has written and published a number of articles in journals such as the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and has contributed chapters to Études Littéraires Africaines (ELA) special issue on South Africa and Post-Apartheid Literature (1994-2014) and South Asian Fiction in English: Contemporary Transformations (Palgrave, 2016).

He is the co-editor of two forthcoming essay collections, Fighting Words: Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World (Peter Lang, 2017) and Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures and Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Davies, D. (2018, August 15). Satrapi: Persepolis - Cross-Cultural Communication [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Davies, D. "Satrapi: Persepolis – Cross-Cultural Communication." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,