Michigan State University

Muslim Journeys Book Club 2015-2016

Muslim Journeys 2015/2016

Learn more about the diversity of Muslim experiences in this scholar-led book group. This spring semester we will read three memoirs exploring the authors’ paths in countries including Egypt, France, Iran, Lebanon, and the United States. Each session will start with a short lecture, followed by a facilitated book discussion.

You are encouraged to read the book before the book club meeting. 

  • All are invited to participate. 
  • No sign up required. Drop-in for one or attend all sessions.
  • Free and open to the public. 
  • Light refreshments served.

Questions? Please contact Deborah Margolis at deborahm@msu.edu or (517) 884-0892

For parking information, please visit:

The Main Library is wheelchair accessible via the South entrance. Persons with disabilities may request accommodations by calling Lisa Denison at (517) 884-6454 one week before an event.
Requests received after that time will be met when possible.

Books may be borrowed from the MSU Main Library's "reserved reading" desk (residents of Michigan may be eligible for a Community Borrower's Card) or the East Lansing Public Library.  Books are available for purchase at Schuler Books and Music in Okemos and Everybody Reads in Lansing.

Wednesday, February 17

7:00 pm

MSU Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor West wing

Emine Evered, Associate Professor of History, will lead a discussion on Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood (Graphic Novel) by Marjane Satrapi.

Discussion Questions:

  • Marjane Satrapi states that Iran had a revolution in 1979 that later on turned into an “Islamic” revolution. How does she explain that transformation? What role did women play in this process?
  • Class differences in pre-revolution Iran are well-covered in Persepolis. What were some of the distinctions depicting how lower and upper classes lived their lives prior to the revolution?
  • Prior to the revolution in Iran, there were significant concerns echoed in the country over its presumed ‘Westernization’. What examples can you identify from Persepolis that reveal dynamics of ‘Westernization’?
  • How does Persepolis help us to understand the experience of a foreigner in our midst? Considering current controversies surrounding Syrian migrants in both Europe and the US, how does Persepolis shed light on experiences of civilians during wartime? How and why people become migrants and refugees? Why do you think Marjane’s parents decided to send her to Austria by herself?
  • The literary success of Persepolis is commonly attributed to the fact that readers can relate to it. Which themes in Persepolis could you identify with?
  • Why do you think Marjane Satrapi wrote this book? Who do you think is she telling the story for? What does she want to remember about her growing-up years in Iran and why is it important for her not to forget?
  • It is argued that the ‘truth’ of a memoir is what makes it successful. What are some examples from Persepolis that might convince you that the author was telling the truth?
  • How much of Persepolis’ success resulted from it being a graphic novel/memoir? Would it have enjoyed the same level of recognition as a novel without graphics? 


Thursday, February 25

Special Event: MSU Film Collective Screening

8:00 pm

**B122 Wells Hall**

Persepolis (Animated Feature Film)

Cosponsored by the MSU Libraries, MSU Comics Forum and MSU Film Collective

With discussion by Kaveh Askari of Western Washington University.


Wednesday, March 16

7:00 pm

MSU Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor West wing

Leila Tarakji, Graduate Student in English, will lead a discussion on The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.