This event will launch the paper 'In-between Identities and Cultures: Ms Marvel and the Representation of Young Muslim Women' by Manmit Bhambra and Jennifer Jackson-Preece. Click here to download the paper.
Can superheroes tell us something important about changing public attitudes towards young Muslim women? To answer this question, the authors compare how young people in different locations in the Middle East and beyond react to the portrayal of the superhero Ms. Marvel as a young Muslim woman. Their findings suggest that a superhero like Ms. Marvel can create a global discourse on gender and Islam that transcends specific cultural contexts.
Manmit Bhambra is Research Officer in the Religion and Global Society Unit at LSE and is coordinating its inaugural project, Strengthening Religious Cooperation in Global London. The project is exploring the impact of COVID-19 on interfaith relations and the potential for interfaith collaboration in these circumstances. Her research interests are centred around identity politics and formation, ethnic, religious and national identities as well as the broader themes of race, inclusion and minority rights. She has recently worked on research projects with young people at LSE’s European Institute and Middle East Centre. She is also Lecturer in Global Politics at Imperial College London.
Jennifer Jackson-Preece is an Associate Professor in Nationalism, with a joint appointment in both the European Institute and the Department of International Relations, LSE. Jennifer's research interests include: normative responses to nationalism, ethnic conflict and religious intolerance; human and minority rights; multiculturalism; minorities and migration in Europe. Since the 1990s, she has had a sustained engagement with problems and practices of minorities and migrants.
Dima Issa is a Senior Lecturer of Mass Media and Communication at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. Her research has primarily focused on Arab diaspora and media consumption, looking at ways in which identity is constructed and reconstructed through space and time. In addition, her interests include gender and representation, popular culture and audience studies, new media and technologies and social networking. Before academia, Dima worked in the corporate sector in media relations, publications and website management as well as in broadcast journalism.
Polly Withers is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre, where she leads the project “Neoliberal Visions: Gendering Consumer Culture and its Resistances in the Levant”. Polly’s interdisciplinary work questions and explores how gender, sexuality, race, and class intersect in popular culture and commercial media in the global south. She is particularly interested in examining how different media and cultural modalities frame, produce, and/or challenge dominant subjectivities and social relations in the Middle East and beyond. In her current work she consider how gendered images in neoliberal and commercial media practices reflect and communicate shifts in gender and sexuality norms in post-Oslo Palestine, which will shortly be expanded to incorporate Jordan and Lebanon.
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