G. Willow Wilson lies at the epicenter of multiple fault lines of American identity.
Originally a self-described “upper-middle-class American White girl with bland politics and polite beliefs,” she converted to Islam while in college, worked as a journalist in Mubarak’s Egypt, and now writes the hugely successful comic series Ms. Marvel. Featuring a Pakistani-American teenage girl from Jersey City named Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel became a surprise hit, winning a Hugo Award and becoming one of the few comics in Marvel’s history whose first issue reached a seventh printing. Kahn’s image was even used as a major protest icon following the 2016 election.
As the first Muslim superhero in the history of Marvel Comics to have her own series, Kahn is part of a demographic shift in comic books away from mainly White characters. Ms. Marvel’s success would have drawn any author into the debate about American identity. But Wilson—White, female, and Muslim—is a particularly unique and outspoken voice in the comic world, and has had to navigate both the praise for, and the anger against, the changing identity of the American superhero—and the changing identity of their creators.
Join us as we delve into American identity through the story of Ms. Marvel and its author. This event will cover topics including Islam and America’s relationship with it, Wilson’s experiences as a White woman converting to Islam after growing up in an atheist household, her life as a journalist in Egypt, and Ms. Marvel’s success and what it means for comic culture and American culture more broadly. The event will be moderated by KUOW’s Jamala Henderson.
In addition to Ms. Marvel, Wilson is the author of numerous other comic series and graphic novels, including Cairo, Air, and Mystic, the nonfiction book The Butterfly Mosque, and the novel Alif the Unseen. Wilson has also been a contributor to The Atlantic, the New York Times, and the National Post.
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $12 for students (please bring valid ID). Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door. Books will be available for sale at the event courtesy of Elliot Bay Books.
This conversation is part of Humanities Washington’s fall 2017 series, The Big Split.
Media sponsor: KUOW.
Ms. Marvel image (C) Marvel.
- October 23, 2017
- Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave S Seattle, WA 98144 United States
- More Info
- Zaki Hamid
- (206) 682-1770 x102