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The Comics of Alison BechdelFrom the Outside In$
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Janine Utell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496825773

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496825773.001.0001

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Fun Home and Are You My Mother? As Autotopography

Fun Home and Are You My Mother? As Autotopography

Queer Orientations and the Politics of Location

(p.181) Fun Home and Are You My Mother? As Autotopography
The Comics of Alison Bechdel

Katherine Kelp-Stebbins

University Press of Mississippi

Utilizing Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, this chapter examine how Alison Bechdel’s work mobilizes representational regimes to orient, disorient, and reorient the reader toward a politics of location. Interweaving comics and cartography, Fun Home and Are You My Mother? demonstrate how comics may be used to construct alternate maps for queer and feminist-oriented landscapes of the self. These works do not merely write the self, they locate the self, as a form of autotopography. The rhetorical power of comics as a visual medium is vested in the possibility for juxtaposing different representations of space within the same space of representation. Including maps in panels or as structuring elements of panels, Bechdel’s comics contextualize the map as but one representational apparatus, itself predicated upon numerous constituent techniques (such as gridding, perspective, toponyms, scale, etc.).

Keywords:   Comics, Cartography, Sara Ahmed, Alison Bechdel, Queer

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