Category: Malaka Gharib


“What are you?”: Part III

Recently, someone told me about an exercise that a professor had his class do during seminary. The professor told the class to talk to someone within their social sphere who they knew but did not really have a relationship with apart from maybe a passing acquaintance. The students had to, before speaking with the person, write down their preconceived notions about the individual. After … Read More “What are you?”: Part III


“What are you?”: Part II

Last post, I began looking at the ways that we place individuals into categories, separating them from ourselves, and how this affects the ways that we think about others. Over the next few posts, I want to continue that discussion by focusing on Khadra Shamy in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf and the ways that her need to place individuals into … Read More “What are you?”: Part II


“What are you?”: Part I

Individuals consistently label others in hopes that they will fit into preconceived constructed categories. The use of these categories helps us navigate the world around us, but these categories also craft differences between individuals. Rather than celebrating these differences, the categories serve, especially to those in power, as a means of severing communities and individuals, causing them to turn on one another out of … Read More “What are you?”: Part I

Conversation with Malaka Gharib

In my Multicultural American Literature course this semester, we are reading Malaka Gharib’s graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream. As I was constructing my syllabus for the course, I was looking for graphic memoirs, and I came across Gharib’s book. I scanned a few pages on Amazon and though, “This is great.” So, I ordered it, read it, and assigned it for the course. I reached out to … Read More Conversation with Malaka Gharib


Photographs and Memories in Thi Bui’s “The Best We Could Do”: Part I

In my last post, I looked at the role of photographs in Malaka Gharib’s I Was Their American Dream. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at the ways that Thi Bui depicts and deploys photographs in The Best We Could Do, a graphic memoir about her family’s escape from South Vietnam and immigration to the United States in 1970s. On the … Read More Photographs and Memories in Thi Bui’s “The Best We Could Do”: Part I