This event is a conversation with Navied Mahdavian, the author of the recently published graphic novel This Country: Searching for Home in [Very] Rural America (out in Canada on Sept. 12). This Country is a funny but also personal and politically informed story about the author and his wife moving from San Francisco to rural Idaho during the Trump years. The narrative moves beyond simple stereotypes and reveals both unlikely friendships, shifting understandings of home and relations to land, as well as sometimes-awkward and difficult relations.
Chair: Dr. Girish Daswani (Anthropology, U of T)
Invited Speaker: Navied Mahdavian has been a contributing cartoonist to The New Yorker since 2018, where his cartoons and comics appear regularly. He is the author of the graphic memoir, This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America (2023). His work has also been featured in the LA Times, Reader's Digest, Wired, Alta Online, and in the cartoon collections, The Rejection Collection (2022) and Send Help! (2021). He has received fellowships from MacDowell, where he was a Hershey’s Family Foundation Fellow, and La Napoule Art Foundation. Before becoming a cartoonist, he taught the 5th grade where he learned most of his jokes.
Invited Discussant: Samira Moyheddin is an award winning journalist and documentarian. She is currently a host and producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC Radio and has a Master of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern History and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto and did Genocide Studies at the Zoryan institute. She is also a trained Shakespearean actor and graduate of New York City's American Musical and Dramatic Academy.