The graphic novel genre and its roots in comic books will be the topic of a convocation Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Wartburg College.

Dr. Amy Nolan, associate professor of English, will focus on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir, “Persepolis,” the college’s Reading in Common selection for all first-year students during this academic year. Her talk is at 11:30 a.m. in Neumann Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

“My address provides a definition and history of the graphic novel and its roots in the world of comics,” Nolan said. “The graphic novel is important because the medium has been around for decades and presents unique challenges and rewards for readers, teachers, and writers.  

“Graphic novels ask us to consider what new ways of writing and reading are possible in a world where a graphic text — that which depends on images, is visual, and spatial — can exist.”

“Persepolis” details Satrapi’s life growing up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War and the Islamic Revolution. The book, originally published in French in 2000 and translated into English three years later, was turned into an animated film in 2007.

Nolan, the 2010 recipient of the John O. Chellevold Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professional Service, joined the Wartburg faculty in 2006. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Alma (Mich.) College, a master’s degree in American literature and creative nonfiction from Central Michigan University and a doctorate in 20th Century American Literature from Michigan State University.