Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department



Martin, Michelle


Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return together illustrate the growth of an Iranian girl before, during, and after the Islamic Revolution; unlike other historical memoirs, however, Satrapi's books are written entirely in comic strips. Because the author privileges the text-and-image delivery of comics, a genre usually targeted toward adolescents, rather than the ostensibly objective nature of the history book to convey both her family's and her nation's history, Persepolis does not only refute the authority of a Westernized historical record but also challenges the traditional ways in which we learn history. As an author and an artist, Satrapi bridges generational, cultural, and historical barriers to tell a story that secures the graphic novel's place as a genre worthy of literary scholarship, redefines history, and constructs the riveting coming-of-age of a Marxist, marginalized individual engaged with her own, internal revolution.