Mark Graham
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Bio: "The Intense World Theory states that autism is the consequence of a supercharged brain that makes the world painfully intense and that the symptoms are largely because autistics are forced to develop strategies to actively avoid the intensity and pain. Autistics see, hear, feel, think, and remember too much, too deep, and process information too completely." This isn't a blog about autism. It's a blog by someone who's in that intense world and making sense of it by thinking, drawing, writing, teaching, and most importantly, struggling for a more peaceful and just world. Walt Whitman said "I contain multitudes." I'm keeping this online journal to express my multitudes: my comics work, my political commentary, and essays on whatever interests me: art, philosophy, comics, film, history, literature, you name it. I've been writing for a long time. My books include Afghanistan in the Cinema and How Islam Created the Modern World. Before I turned to nonfiction I was a mystery novelist, author of a series that included The Black Maria, which won the 2001 Edgar Award. I teach high school, where I try to open minds and show students how to live the questions. Thanks for visiting!

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Mark,

    Wonderful piece on Fish who epitomizes the academic that the powerful love to support. His depoliticizing logic is as bad as the politicized nonsense he passes for education, pedagogy, and what counts as a valuable and important education. Thanks for the piece. Henry Giroux

  2. Prof. Giroux, One of the highpoints of my writing career was reading your kind comments above, from someone I so deeply respect. Thank you so much! You are an inspiration to me and many, many other teachers.

  3. Hi Mark.
    I just read your article in Counterpunch, and hope you don’t mind if I quote you in the next article I’m writing for my own blog: classroomdialogue.org
    Keep up the inspiring work,
    Clyde Nielson
    Eugene, OR

    • Of course, Clyde. I just took a look at your blog and I can see we both have interests in “social justice, moral education, critical pedagogy, and awakening.” I think there are many more educators like us and I hope the number grows and grows. Thanks so much for including me in your writing!

  4. i spent about ten years in a art school, first six up to post graduate studies ( i passed the finals, but refused to identify with the masters of art degree), then two years as the govt. of india cultural scholar, and then as a ‘unesco” fellow in the field of the siamese culture. held four one man show, bombay,1963, bangkok 1965, kuala lumpur, 1967, and tokyo, 1971. paintings poems and sculptures (wood, bronze and liquid plastic).
    myself being a country boy raised in a town bordering the gir forest of india, my first three years at the baroda univ. art school with the english medium went by without knowing what was said or printed in the art books.( in my b.a. exam i scored 36/100, in english, one mark above the passing marks. i did pretty well in practical subjects. and when finally i began to understand what was said in spoken and printed english words, and i began to refute the make believe image of art and artist.
    from the 3rd year on wards i stopped signing my name, knowing that while creating a painting or sculpture, there was no name involved. not only that, piccasso’s obtrusive signature on this canvasses appeared to be the mark for the name recognition. ad people bought his signature, in my case, buyers refused to buy my works unless i signed my name. and i told them that in my canvass or watercolour paper the entire space was taken by the content. so i could not scribble name without damaging what i had painted.
    during my 3rd one man show i began to observe, that the only people who were coming o the art show were rich people, the media persons and art related individuals, student. not a single working poor. the last show, the art of ‘no-mind’ was sponsored by the zen monastery i was residing in japan.
    and having no mind to give my share of enabling the rich to distinguished themselves from the poor, i do not exhibit my works. having been born in adobe house, in which there was no space for an art object nor felt the lack of it. and being aware tat more people of the world have inadequate living spaces, i am unable to see any need to encourage any one to become artist and help retain the socio-economic apartheid.
    please see the current article in ‘span on the brains and their function in http://www.span-foundation.org.

    • I guess I haven’t lost faith yet. I was once a professional writer. Didn’t pay the bills, so I know what you mean. And there was constant pressure to write a potboiler that would make money. That’s why I teach. It gives me (some) financial stability and the free time to create what I want, not what the market wants. It’s fun to create for yourself but I think it’s important to communicate as well–to let them see it. That’s why I have this blog! I’m not a university teacher so I don’t have this sense with my students that I’m training them to be professional artists. When I teach art, I’m thinking of art as something that can belong to potentially anybody, professional or not. Art is valuable to anyone then, like science is valuable to anyone–as a methodology, a road map of the meaning-path. Ultimately I think artists don’t do what they do out of economic considerations but because of a need. I agree with you that making sure people in the world have adequate living spaces is of paramount importance–but art is one of the ways to convince people that that must happen. Empathy will help that happen. And art is certainly a powerful way to convince others of the need to extend to all people basic rights and dignities.

  5. Hello Mark Graham,
    I recently read your book Cinema in Afghanistan. I am currently working on my PhD dissertation and was so excited to read your writing and research on Afghan movies. Is there an email address that you can be reached at? I will be grateful if you could answer a few of my questions, and share some thoughts about Afghan movies.

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