Cultural materialist reading: visualizing dominant ideologies and dissident discourses in the creative graphic panels of Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir

    Manjula Selvam   Affiliation
    ; Sangeeta Mukherjee   Affiliation


One of the prominent theories of cultural studies is cultural materialism, which has its base on the theory of Marxism. Much of the research work done regarding cultural materialism is on Renaissance literature; the development of the theory itself is through the studies conducted on the plays of William Shakespeare, who is one of the epitomes of Renaissance literature. This paper aims to be a unique cultural materialist reading done on a graphic novel based on Kashmir, Indian subcontinent. Kashmir is one of the most desired lands on Earth; it has also been a land of contest right from 1947. This article attempts to explore Malik Sajad’s reflection of the Kashmiri society by analyzing and discussing graphic panels from Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir (originally published in 2015) in the light of cultural materialism. Since cultural materialism admits that a text mirrors the socio-cultural and political life of a society; it has been used for interpreting this Kashmir-based graphic novel which is a blend of image and words. This graphic memoir offers a unique narration of the political and societal lives of Kashmiris through the creative deployment of an anthropomorphic metaphor. This study shows how Sajad graphically reflects the dominant ideology and dissident discourses in these panels.

Keyword : creative metaphor, cultural materialism, graphic novel, ideology, Kashmir, socio-cultural life

How to Cite
Selvam, M., & Mukherjee, S. (2023). Cultural materialist reading: visualizing dominant ideologies and dissident discourses in the creative graphic panels of Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. Creativity Studies, 16(2), 624–636.
Published in Issue
Oct 4, 2023
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Al-Ababneh, M. M. (2020). The concept of creativity: Definitions and theories. International Journal of Tourism and Hotel Business Management, 2(1), 245–249.

Baishya, A. R. (2018). Endangered (and endangering) species: Exploring the animacy hierarchy in Malik Sajad’s Munnu. South Asian Review, 39(1–2), 50–69.

Bakaya, P., & Bhatti, S. (2010). Kashmir conflict: A study of what led to the insurgency in Kashmir Valley and proposed future solutions.

Bamzai, P. N. K. (1994). Culture and political history of Kashmir. M.D. Publications.

Bhat, B. A., & Fazili, M. F. (2015). Historical range and present status of Hangul Deer CERVUS ELAPHUS HANGLU in Kashmir, India. Global Journal for Research Analyses, 4(11), 49–51.

Brannigan, J. (1998). Transitions. New historicism and cultural materialism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bratož, S. (2013). The anthromorphic metaphor in Slovene and English wine tasting discourses. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 10(1), 23–35.

Carter, R. (2004). Language and creativity: The art of common talk. Routledge.

Dollimore, J., & Sinfield, A. (Eds.). (1994). Political Shakespeare: Essays in cultural materialism. Manchester University Press.

Ganguly, Š. (1997). Woodrow Wilson Center Series. The crisis in Kashmir: Portents of war, hopes of peace. The Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Cambridge University Press.

Ghosal, T. (2016). Book review: Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. South Asian Popular Culture, 14(1–2), 128–130.

Hock Soon Ng, A. (2018). Nationalism and the intangible effects of violence in Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. South Asian Review, 39(1–2), 159–174.

Kövecses, Z. (2006). Metaphor in culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge University Press.

Milner, A. (1993). Cultural materialism. Melbourne University Press.

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. (2013). Annual Report 2011–12. In XI Conference of Parties: Convention on Biological Diversity. Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Environmental Information System.

Misra, A. (2005). The problem of Kashmir and the problem in Kashmir: Divergence demands convergence. Strategic Analysis, 29(1), 16–43.

Narayanan, A. (2021). From an (im) mobile land: Inscribing the (Postcolonial) other in Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. Ilkogretim Online: Elementary Education Online, 20(5), 4794–4801.

Nayar, P. K. (2016). The Postcolonial Gothic: Munnu, graphic narrative and the terrors of the nation. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 8(1), 2–12.

Refaie, el E. (2014). Looking on the dark and bright side: Creative metaphors of depression in two graphic memoirs. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 29(1), 149–174.

Sajad, M. (2015). Munnu: A boy from Kashmir. Fourth Estate.

Sarkar, S. (2018). The art of postcolonial resistance and multispecies storytelling in Malik Sajad’s graphic novel Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. South Asian Review, 39(1–2), 104–124.

Scannell, P. (2001). Authenticity and experience. Discourse Studies, 3(4), 405–411.

Sehgal, R. (2011). Kashmir conflict: Solutions and demand for self-determination. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(6), 188–195.

Singh, A. (2017). “Inside Out”: Autobiography, history and the comic form in Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir. Café Dissensus.

Singh Bali, P. (2016). The portrayal of Indian army in Kashmir Media: An analytical study of local newspapers. International Journal of Media, Journalism and Mass Communications, 2(1), 51–57.

Şakiroglu, B., & Ross Marshall, G. J. (2015). A cultural materialist reading of Martin Crimp’s Cruel and Tender: Crimp’s approach to ideology. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 5(5), 134–139.

Wang, J., & Hu, Ch. (2018). Similarity, metaphor and creativity. Language and Semiotic Studies, 4(3), 101–116.

Williams, R. (1985). Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. Oxford University Press.

Williams, R. (1977). Marxism and literature. Oxford University Press.

Wirsing, R. G. (1994). India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir Dispute: On regional conflicts and its resolution. Palgrave Macmillan.