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Image credit: Drawing by Michèle Standjofski (Copyright Des ronds dans l’O) 

The Spring 2022 seminar in the ‘Sketching/Scripting Women’ series of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing will explore the work of Francophone female graphic novelists from the Arab World, with contributions from academic speakers focusing on different historical and socio-political contexts spanning from the Maghreb to the Middle-East, and a talk by prize-winning Beirut-born bandedessinée author Michèle Standjofski. Flourishing comics production by graphic novelists originating from Maghreb and Mashriq countries has seen an increasing contribution of female authors since the start of the millennium, and later the Arab Spring, who have explored issues such as war, memory, identity, gender, and youth culture. Such cultural production is also characterised by its multilingualism which lies at the heart of the creative process; discussions on Arab comics will therefore offer an opportunity to reflect on the engagement of authors with the question of creative multilingualism.

This seminar will be of relevance to anyone interested in comics, gender, and contemporary Arab culture. 

The primary goal of the ‘Sketching/Scripting Women’ series is to contribute to and help steer the development of research into female bande dessinée creation, by bringing together practitioners, academics and the general public. 

All times in GMT


Alexandra Gueydan-Turek (Swarthmore College): Of Foreign Genre and Local Bodies: the Ambiguity of Fasiki’s Feminist Nude
Carla Calargé (Florida Atlantic University): Neoliberalism, Political Agency and the Past: Beirut in/and Bande Dessinée before 2020
Sandra Rousseau(Carleton College): Sublime and Macabre: Lamia Ziadé’s Affective Map of the Levant


16:15-17:30Michèle Standjofski on her oeuvre 
dessinée author Michèle Standjofskiwill speak (in French) about her work and discuss her experience as a female artist in the context of the Lebanese comics industry. Michèle Standjofski was shortlisted for the 2018 ‘Prix Artémisia’ (awarded annually by the French Artémisia Association to the best bande dessinée by a female author) for her autobiographical graphic narrative, Toutes les mers. She was also the recipient of the ‘Prix du Public’ (People’s Choice Award) at the 2018 comics Pulp Festival in France. She worked as an illustrator for the Lebanese newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour for over twenty years, with a bi-weekly comic strip ‘Beyrouth-Déroute’ published from 1977 to 1987. She has also been working as an illustrator for children’s books since the early 1990’s. Her work has been exhibited in Angoulême, Beirut, Ravenne, Istanbul, Athens, Sharjah and Aix-en-Provence. Michèle Standjofski has been teaching bande dessinée and illustration at ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts) in Beirut since 1992.

Organiser: Myriem El Maïzi (

With the generous support of the Cassal Endowment Fund and Newcastle University

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which will be held online via Zoom at 14:00 GMT. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register.