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Abstract: With an increase in comic book representations of biblical stories on our bookshelves, discussions surrounding how to approach retellings of difficult material such as rape narratives, extreme violence, murder and genocide are at a critical juncture. For those comic book creators who want to include every aspect of these stories, questions concerning how they interpret and represent such narratives abound; for those who are less concerned with fidelity to the text, questions concerning what they leave out and what they leave in present themselves.

In this paper I will discuss the representation of Hagar, Bilhah and Zilpah in biblical comic books, arguing that the creators of such comics rarely depict the scenes as rape or sexual assault narratives.

This talk was delivered at the 2018 Religion and Rape Culture Conference. Click here to see more videos.

Zanne currently holds a postdoctoral position with the University of Glasgow, teaching in Biblical Hebrew, the Hebrew Bible, Bible and popular culture, and Bible and reception history. She completed both her PhD and MTh degrees at the University of Glasgow, focusing on remediations of Genesis in comic books and artwork, and in particular, how women were represented in biblical comics. Her current research projects broadly involve remediations of the Bible in comic books, issues related to representations of gender in the Hebrew Bible and popular culture, and the reception of biblical text in marginalised communities.

Header image: Sarai suggests the use of Hagar’s body to Abram (Genesis 16:2) in R Crumb’s The Book of Genesis.

Tags : biblical comicsbiblical studiesComic ArtComicsfeminist researchR CrumbReligion and Rape CultureReligion and Rape Culture conference

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