Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4985-3652-3 • Hardback • November 2017 • $100.00 • (£77.00)
978-1-4985-3654-7 • Paperback • May 2019 • $40.99 • (£32.00)
978-1-4985-3653-0 • eBook • November 2017 • $39.00 • (£30.00)
Sophia Rose Arjana is assistant professor of religious studies at Western Kentucky University.
1. Muslim Women in Western Popular Culture
2. The Muslim Body, Veiling, and Contestations of Islam
3. Ms. Marvel, Islam, and America
4. Burka Avenger and the Subversive Veil
5. Qahera, Raat, Bloody Nasreen, and the Vigilante Superhero
Conclusion: Islamic Feminism and Muslim Chivalry
Sophia Arjana’s book is my ideal balance of a popular-academic book. Academics are perpetually in search of that book which will be informative and scholarly as well as creative and fun: professor, that book has arrived. Using a refreshingly global, multi-stranded framework of religious studies, gender and women’s studies, cultural studies, and media studies, Dr. Arjana investigates the subversive up-ending of cultural power dynamics through the lens of visual media. Comic book superheroes are the perfect champions to interrogate outdated, wooden status quo of dominant majority cultures. And Muslim women superheroes are ideal protagonists to right wrongs and smash hegemonic stereotypes. Arjana shows how they battle for new paradigms like the heroes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, fight-dancing atop towering yet teetering cultural tropes.
— Shabana Mir, associate professor of religion, American Islamic College
Sophia Arjana’s meticulously researched book is a must read for anyone looking for a window into current realities of Muslim lived experiences and on-the-ground and symbolic practices of resistance against Islamophobia and objectification. Self- and other-rescuing female Muslim superheroes reclaiming symbols, their bodies, and their faith are part of the real, complex, diverse lived experiences of struggle and grass roots Islamic social justice work of Muslimah around the world. Arjana makes accessible the public pedagogy of graphic novels, and presents us with the kind of anti-colonial, feminist, liberational partners of which we need legion in our times.
— Heike Peckruhn, assistant professor of religious studies, Daemen College
Working at the intersection of religion, popular culture, and gender studies, Sophia Arjana explores comics’ complex and compelling representations of Muslim women, beyond sexualized stereotypes. Drawing on examples from the famous (Ms. Marvel) to the little known (Bloody Nasreen), Veiled Superheroes situates characters in their diverse national environments while analyzing globally relevant issues of agency, imperialism, and power.
— Kecia Ali, Boston University, professor of religion, Boston University
This is an invigorating, lively, and original book which will have a broad appeal in a number of academic fields including Cultural, Gender, and Islamic Studies. Examining a diverse set of the representations of Muslims in contemporary comics and animation, Sophia Rose Arjana provides lucid analytical insights on the intricate relationships between popular culture, identity, sociality, and reigning political dynamics. Her project brings the subversive and innovative genre of Muslimah superheroes into a creative and engaged conversation with Islamic feminism and Sufism, all the while proving that erudite academic work can also be exciting and fun to read!
— Sadiyya Shaikh, associate professor of religious studies, University of Cape Town