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Superheroes in the Streets - Muslim Women Activists and Protest in the Digital Age

Superheroes in the Streets

Muslim Women Activists and Protest in the Digital Age

By Kimberly Wedeven Segall
Series: Race, Rhetoric, and Media Series

Hardcover : 9781496850379, 228 pages, 7 b&w illustrations, March 2024
Paperback : 9781496850386, 228 pages, 7 b&w illustrations, March 2024

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Ms. Marvel’s Resistance Icon
Chapter 2: Online Sport Protest: Nike Wonder Women
Chapter 3: Digital Revolts and Riveters
Chapter 4: Grassroots Icons: Facebook Resistance
Chapter 5: Solidarity Icons: A Virtual Revolution
Conclusion: Digitalizing Wonder Women

How Muslim women activists have heroically raised physical and digital protest banners


The icon of the female protester and her alter-ego, the female superhero, fills screens in the news, in theaters, and in digital spaces. The female protester who is Muslim, though, has been subject to a legacy of discrimination. Superheroes in the Streets: Muslim Women Activists and Protest in the Digital Age follows the stories of both famous and grassroots Muslim female protestors, bringing careful attention to protest modes and online national icons.

US Muslim women have long navigated public and digital spaces aware of the complex and nuanced histories that trail them. Given the pervasive influence of mainstream feminism, Muslim women activists are often made out to be damsels in distress. Even when mass media turns its attention to the activism of Muslim women, persistence of these false narratives demeans their culture and hypersexualizes their bodies.

Following the stories of US Muslim women activists, author Kimberly Wedeven Segall shows how they have been reinventing the streets and remaking racialized codifications. Segall highlights their creativity in crafting protest media of posters, rap rally songs, and digital images of superheroes, carving public spaces into inclusive and digital territories. Each chapter teases apart the complexities of public banners and digital activism.


"Muslim women play an important part in American activism but are rarely depicted in positions of power. Superheroes in the Streets points directly to the diminished reputation of those women activists and highlights exactly why their stories matter, especially in the digital world."

- Sara Shaban, author of Iranian Feminism and Transnational Ethics in Media Discourse

"Superheroes in the Streets is a timely and needed study highlighting Muslim American women artists’ radical interventions across various digital platforms. Segall’s insightful analysis widens our understanding of the connections as well as tensions between celebrity icons, art, and activism, opening up new and exciting vistas for engaging with artistic articulations of resistance, revolt, and cross-racial solidarities."

- Carol W. N. Fadda, author of Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging

"Segall has done an astounding job of mining various disciplinary archives and putting them in conversation with one another. Superheroes in the Streets is a commendable study of icons and superheroes as they relate to the activism of Muslim American women."

- Hussein Rashid, coeditor of Ms. Marvel's America: No Normal and coexecutive producer of The Secret History of Muslims in America