Hancher's Embracing Complexity series continues

Author G. Willow Wilson will discuss her method and reasons for creating the superhero character Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager. (Amber French)
Author G. Willow Wilson will discuss her method and reasons for creating the superhero character Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager. (Amber French)


G. Willow Wilson, “A Superhero for Generation Why,” 2 p.m. Oct. 8, Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Rd., Iowa City; free and unticketed.

Wilson employs her literary powers to address pressing issues including religious intolerance and gender politics. In fiction, non-fiction and comics, the American convert to Islam has distinguished herself as a writer of 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.


Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, Hancher Auditorium.

A trumpeter, santur player, vocalist and composer, ElSaffar is steeped in classical and jazz traditions while also bringing the microtones and ornaments idiomatic to Arabic music into play. He also is a practitioner of the endangered Iraqi maqam music, which influences both his playing and his composing.

His band, Rivers of Sound, features 17 musicians who blend eastern and western music by using resonance as their organizing principle. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, creating a transcultural soundscape.


Tickets: $10 to $35, Hancher Box Office, (319) 335-1160, 1- (800) HANCHER or Hancher.uiowa.edu/2017-18/AmirElSaffar


“Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic,” April 4, Hancher Auditorium.

Created by Hamid Rahmanian, a Guggenheim fellowship-winning filmmaker and visual artist, “Feathers of Fire” is a shadow play recounting the fates of star-crossed lovers.

The magical tale of Zaul and Rudabeh is drawn from the 10th century Persian epic “Shahnameh (The Book of Kings).” Casting shadows on a cinema-size screen, puppets, costumes, masks, scenography and digital animation will bring the story to life.

With techniques conceived by shadow master Larry Reed and an original score composed by Niyaz, “Feathers of Fire” is entertainment for the entire family.

Tickets: $10 to $40, Hancher Box Office, (319) 335-1160, 1- (800) HANCHER or Hancher.uiowa.edu/2017-18/FeathersofFire


Zeshan Bagewadi and the Transistors, two free concerts: 6:30 p.m. May 25, downtown Iowa City, part of Summer of the Arts’ Friday Night Concert Series on the Ped Mall, bring lawn chairs; 2 p.m. May 26, Hancher’s Lynch Snyder Green, outside the Strauss Rehearsal Hall; bring chairs, blankets and picnics.

Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Zeshan Bagewadi’s musical identity was formed at the harmonious intersection of two worlds. As he was growing up, his parent’s love of their native Indo-Pakistani music collided with the sounds of his father’s extensive blues, soul and R&B collection. Bagewadi brings all of those influences to the stage.



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