Infertility Comics and Graphic Medicine  book cover
1st Edition

Infertility Comics and Graphic Medicine

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 5, 2021
ISBN 9780367464158
July 5, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
144 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Infertility Comics and Graphic Medicine examines women’s graphic memoirs on infertility, foregrounding the complex interrelationship between women’s life writing, infertility studies and graphic medicine.

Through a scholarly examination of the artists’ use of visual-verbal codes of the comics medium in narrating their physical ordeals and affective challenges occasioned by infertility, the book seeks to foreground the intricacies of gender identity, embodiment, subjectivity and illness experience. Providing long-overdue scholarly attention on the perspectives of autobiographical and comics studies, the authors examine the gendered nature of the infertility experience and the notion of motherhood as an ideological force which interpolates socio-cultural discourses, accentuating the potential of graphic medicine as a creative space for the infertile women to voice their hitherto silenced perspectives on childlessness with force and urgency.

This interdisciplinary volume will be of interest for scholars and students in comics studies, the health humanities, literature and women’s and gender studies, and will also be suitable for readers in visual studies and narrative medicine.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Visualizing Illness: Comics and Graphic Medicine

Chapter 2: Imagining the "Barren": Cultural Representations of Women’s Infertility

Chapter 3: Hegemonic Creations: Pronatalism and the Social Construction of Motherhood

Chapter 4: The Infertile Body in the Clinic: Medicalization and Loss of Agency

Chapter 5: Traversing Infertility: Endurance and Alternatives


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Chinmay Murali is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India. His doctoral work concentrates on the representation of women’s reproductive disorders in graphic medicine. His research interests include literature and medicine, graphic medicine, and critical health humanities. His research articles have appeared in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press), Journal of Medical Humanities (Springer), Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge), Women’s Studies (Routledge), among others. He is a recipient of the Visiting Scholar fellowship from the Centre for Health Humanities, MCPHS University, Boston, USA.

Sathyaraj Venkatesan is Associate Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India. He is the author of six books and over ninety research publications that span African American literature, health humanities, graphic medicine, film studies, and other literary and cultural studies disciplines. He is most recently co-author of Gender, Eating Disorders and Graphic Medicine (Routledge, 2020) and India Retold (2021).


"Combining an acute analysis of the often conflicting medical and socio-cultural constructions of infertility with illuminating, theoretically informed readings of four trailblazing works of graphic medicine, this book will be a valuable addition to courses in Feminist and Women's Studies, Medical humanities, History of Medicine, and Comics Studies. More than that, this will engage the mind and heart of anyone who has faced the challenging experience of infertility."

Susan Squier, Brill Professor Emerita of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English, The Pennsylvania State University, USA