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Kristian Petersen’s new edited volume Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (Ilex Foundation and Harvard University Press, 2021), introduces the subject of Muslims and film. The volume contains nineteen chapters that engage a range of film industries, including Hollywood and Bollywood, but also movies from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Italy, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and much more. This collection challenges its readers to taking seriously the complex ways in Muslims are represented in films throughout the globe, be it through a close analysis of a film, such as Wajda, or films about North American Muslims, such as Malcolm X or Muhammad Ali. In other instances, authors guide the readers through accessible analysis of particular Muslims in movies and cinematography, which lead to discussions of islamophobia, diaspora politics, issues of gender and sexuality, identity politics and much more. The overall study then welcomes viewers to rethink the ways in which films can be studied as a critical text and opens up possibilities for multidimensional engagement with Muslims in diverse film genres, such as sci-fi, romantic comedies, and biopics. This accessibly written volume will be a great text to incorporate into courses on Islam in film or popular culture, and will be of interest to students of Islam, gender and sexuality studies, media and cultural studies, diaspora and immigration studies and much more.
Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier.
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