Sounding the Occupation: Joe Sacco's <i>Palestine</i> and the Uses of Graphic Narrative for (Post) Colonial Critique.


  • Rose Anne Brister Stevenson University


Graphic Narrative, Palestine, Israel, Space and Sound


Working at the intersection of postcolonial literary studies and comics narratology, this paper argues that Joe Sacco’s graphic narrative Palestine contributes a spatial and sonic record of territorial occupation to the Palestinian national narrative. Sacco utilizes the comics form to represent the complex of physical borders and spatial narratives he encounters in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Further, he renders graphically the epiphenomenal sonic regime resulting from spatial management.  Rather than an absence or gap in the Palestinian narrative, Sacco understands spatialized sound as a presence, a marker of materiality. Ultimately, Palestine suggests the rich potential of the comics form for postcolonial literary studies. Sacco’s graphic narrative reinvigorates the field’s engagement with literary representations of Israel-Palestine by demonstrating the continued utility of the (post)colonial paradigm and by challenging the fields’ scholars to forge new interdisciplinary linkages to comics studies.

Author Biography

Rose Anne Brister, Stevenson University

Rose Brister is Adjunct Professor of English at Stevenson University. She received a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research explores the ways that postcolonial and Anglophone literatures of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries imagine competing claims to place. Her current project maps literary representations of spatial politics, embodiment, and mobility in global Anglophone literatures of the 1990s.