Kavaloski, Laini. “Contested Spaces in Graphic Narrative: Exploring Homeland through Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!: An American Girl’s Adventures in the Israeli Army.” Studies in Comics 6.2 (2015): 231-51.
‘Contested spaces in graphic narrative’ argues that spatiality in graphic narratives is conducive to restructuring fraught landscapes. Through an exploration of the contested homelands of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!: An American Girl’s Adventures in the Israeli Army (2008), this article argues that graphic narratives have a unique ability to depict geographical spaces through lines, panels and various artistic devices. Like maps, such lines and boxes on a page physically create borders and represent corresponding location as bounded; they may represent existing political divisions, or they may subvert and push state-drawn boundaries. These devices within the graphic form open up a recognition of the ways that boundaries obfuscate the multifaceted representations of identity that include multiple nationalisms, ideological discontinuities, as well as human-centred spatial connections. Graphic form, then, becomes a landscape that allows for a complex visual understanding of affective attachment to the state through possibilities of graphic, bordered texts that cut across traditional understandings of territoriality and occupation. Libicki’s status as an outsider and as a woman in the Israel Defense Forces emphasizes her position of precarity in traditional conceptions of the Biblical Jewish homeland as well as in Israel, the modern Jewish state.