Discussants: Johanna Shapiro, (Medical Humanities) Jonathan Alexander (English), Antoinette LaFarge (Visual Arts)
Part of Comics in Academia?! a 3-Day event with the author-artists team who created Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution,
Lissa brings anthropological research to life in fictional comic form, combining scholarly
insights and accessible, visually-rich storytelling to foster greater understanding
of global politics, inequalities, and solidarity.
Lissa follows the paths of two young girls, Anna and Layla, who strike up an unlikely friendship in Cairo that crosses class, cultural, and religious divides. Their friendship is put to the test when each faces a medical crisis that reveal stark differences in their perspectives…until revolutionary unrest in Egypt changes their lives forever. Using the grammar of comics – page, panel, gutters, image, dialogue, captions – to render ethnographic research in a multi-modal format, the authors have collaborated with artists to transform their research on kidney disease in Egypt, and breast cancer genetic screening in the US into a compelling human story about mortality, risk, and hope across cultures.