The University of Iowa
G. Willow Wilson
© Amber French

G. Willow Wilson

A Superhero for Generation Why

Presented by
Iowa City Book Festival
One Community, One Book
, and
University Lecture Committee
Sunday, October 8, 2017, 2:00 pm

Part of Embracing Complexity

G. Willow Wilson is a superhero who employs her literary powers to address pressing issues including religious intolerance and gender politics. In fiction, nonfiction, and comics, the American convert to Islam has distinguished herself as a writer of remarkable originality and insight. In her lecture, Wilson uses the challenges Ms. Marvel—a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager—faces as a parallel for the challenges of a misunderstood generation: the millennials. She’ll discuss the genesis of Ms. Marvel, her roots in the historical science fiction/fantasy tradition, and the significance of writing a superhero for a millennial (and wider) audience.

Wilson’s memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, which recounts her life in Egypt during the waning day of the Mubarak regime, is the 2017 selection for the One Community, One Book program sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.

This event is free and unticketed.

Additional support for Wilson’s lecture and residency has been provided by the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, International Writing Program, and Nonfiction Writing Program and also from Daydreams Comics. The Iowa City Book Festival is a program of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Organization. The UI Center for Human Rights organizes the One Community, One Book program.

Season Sponsor: WEST MUSIC

Event Sponsors:
Jo Ellen Ross

Seating map


Some sites may require subscription
Daily Iowan - Monday, October 9, 2017
Five years ago, Wilson received a phone call from two editors at Marvel who wanted to see if she was interested in writing her own comic series. Editor Sana Amanat and Wilson conversed for months about who the lead superhero would be. The only vision Wilson and Amanat had from the beginning was that the superhero would be a Muslim female, Wilson said. “To me it sounds like a crazy proposition,” she said. “My first thought was to tell them to hire an intern just to open all of the hate mail that we were going to get.”
Ms. Marvel author G. Willow Wilson discusses faith, gender and the comics industry
Little Village - Tuesday, October 3, 2017
G. Willow Wilson, one of my favorite authors, is coming to Iowa City to talk about my favorite superhero. Wilson will give a free lecture at Hancher Auditorium on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. titled A Superhero for Generation Why. The lecture is a part of Hancher’s Embracing Complexity series, which focuses on Muslim art and Islamic artists like Wilson, and also kicks off the Iowa City Book Festival, which runs through Oct. 15. It is also part of the One Community, One Book program sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (which focuses specifically on Wilson’s memoir, The Butterfly Mosque). On the morning of the lecture at 11 a.m., Wilson will do a signing at Daydreams Comics. She will also sign after her lecture.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Paris Young in advance at (319) 467-4849 or at