Coming this Summer: MUSLIM SUPERHEROES

As a contributor to Sacred Texts & Comics, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another volume that I’m affiliated with, namely Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation, coming out in the next few months. Here’s the rundown:


Cover art by Deena Mohamed

The roster of Muslim superheroes in the comic book medium has grown over the years, as has the complexity of their depictions. Muslim Superheroes tracks the initial absence, reluctant inclusion, tokenistic employment, and then nuanced scripting of Islamic protagonists in the American superhero comic book market and beyond.

This scholarly anthology investigates the ways in which Muslim superhero characters fulfill, counter, or complicate Western stereotypes and navigate popular audience expectations globally, under the looming threat of Islamophobia. The contributors consider assumptions buried in the very notion of a character who is both a superhero and a Muslim with an interdisciplinary and international focus characteristic of both Islamic studies and comics studies scholarship. Muslim Superheroes investigates both intranational American racial formation and international American geopolitics, juxtaposed with social developments outside U.S. borders.

Providing unprecedented depth to the study of Muslim superheroes, this collection analyzes, through a series of close readings and comparative studies, how Muslim and non-Muslim comics creators and critics have produced, reproduced, and represented different conceptions of Islam and Muslimness embodied in the genre characters.

Perhaps the best news about the book, beyond its undoubtedly high scholarly quality and keen insight, is its relatively low price-point: The Harvard University Press site has it listed as only $24.95 (£19.95 or €22.50) before any discounts. It’s practically affordable, even for students!

Release and signing events will start being announced soon, but consider contacting HUP in advance for a review or desk copy if you see an overlap between your own research interests and the aims of the book. Or, tell a colleague — word of mouth is always appreciated. We have contributors from all over the country (all over the world, in fact) available to speak at campuses and to organizations, if interested.

Muslim Superheroes

Lastly, assuming from your interest in the Sacred Texts & Comics site that Muslim Superheroes‘s content will appeal to you, feel free to follow us on Twitter @muslimsupes.


About A. David Lewis

A. David Lewis is a Faculty Associate with MCPHS University and holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Boston University. He is a founding member of Sacred & Sequential (a collection of scholars on comics and religion), co-editor of "Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels," and author of "American Comic Books, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife."
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