Guest Lecture: "Creative Currency and the First Islamic Superheroes"

February 11, 2014
picture-39-1362069978The final candidate for the Department of International Studies, Dr. Amina el-Annan from Yale, will present a lecture tomorrow titled “Creative Currency and the First Islamic Superheroes.” The following is el-Annan’s abstract:
In the 21st century, Islamic superheroes are created not in religious texts or political realms, but in comic books. In this talk I examine the 99, a comic book series invented by an American educated Kuwaiti clinical psychologist where 99 superheroes are revealed who embody the 99 names and attributes of Allah in Islam. Using this text, I ask questions about the power of American cultural forms in a new globalized market of ideas and images: what currents in contemporary Muslim culture dictate the need to adapt American culture to local forms? What is Islamic about the comic series the 99 and why does it market itself as “a world Class Brand with Muslim Values?” What American genres translate globally, and how? I will explore the impulse to infuse capitalism with a spiritual dimension and the desire to capture different audiences, including untapped youthful consumers in the Middle East.
This lecture will be held in ED2-216 at 2 p.m.