Date Approved

2020

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Annette Wannamaker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amanda K. Allen, Ph.D.

Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase of graphic narratives focusing on the intersection of comics and medicine, a subgenre known as graphic medicine. These memoirs, known as graphic pathographies, are written from those who interact with disease in various capacities from patient, to doctor, to caregiver. This project closely examines three graphic pathographies written about the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. Prior writing, both fictional and personal memoir, on anorexia has often been considered as problematic for its ability to function as a how-to manual for anorexics. Anorexia is a complex disease that exists largely within the mind of the anorexic, yet its toll can be visibly seen on the body. Graphic pathographies, with their ability to simultaneously show through the visual format and tell through the verbal format, offer a more nuanced and holistic representation of one’s encounter with anorexia.

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