NYCC ‘19: Wilson, Shammas, Alfageeh & Henderson on Orientalism in comics & the White, Western gaze – The Beat.

Rashid began proceedings by citing theorist Edward Said and describing Orientalism as “a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.” The othering that Orientalism does to Asian and Arab cultures, he continued, is “a tool of colonization, a means of convincing people that some people are less worthy of their humanity.” The panellists nodded along, taking this definition as their starting point for discussion. 

In turn, each panelist presented some examples of where we see Orientalism in comics. Rashid mentioned the all-encompassing and highly problematic “Siancong” war recently seen in the pages of History of the Marvel Universe, C.B. Cebulski’s ‘Akira Yoshida’ yellowface act, and the 2011 graphic novel Habibi.