Imagining Iraq

Episode 385

hosted by Shireen Hamza

Download the podcast
 Feed | iTunes | Ventricles Podcast | SimpleCastGooglePlay 

What will Iraq be like, 100 years in the future? And how are Muslim women imagined to exist in that future? In this episode, Professor Ahmed Ragab explores literary imaginaries of the future of the Middle East. He starts by discussing the story, Kahramana, from the recent short-story collection edited by Hassan Blasim, Iraq +100. He compares the story of Kahramana to the superhero, Dust from Marvel comics, to demonstrate how writers based in Iraq navigate and subvert the expectations of Western audiences.

The Ottoman History Podcast is featuring this episode from season one of Ventricles, a new podcast about interesting topics in science and technology, past and present. Ventricles is produced by OHP contributor Shireen Hamza for the Science, Religion and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School, and also features past episodes of OHP. Check out past episodes, for more in the series on time.

Stream via Simplecast 

Contributor Bios

Ahmed Ragab is Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of "The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion, and Charity," and "Piety and Patienthood in Medieval Islam."
Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the history of medical exchange in the medieval Indian Ocean world.


Episode No. 385
Release Date: 13 October 2018
Recording Location: Harvard Divinity School
Audio editing by Shireen Hamza
Music: Special thanks to The Overseas Ensemble, a collaboration between composer Paed Conca and Sarigama, for use of their music
Image courtesy of Sara Alfaqeeh and bibliography courtesy of Ahmed Ragab

Select Bibliography

Ragab, Ahmed. Eliminate the Muslim: Timeplay in the making of postcolonial future ethnoreligious identities” Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, Spring 2018

Blasim, Hassan. "Iraq + 100." Tom Doherty Associates (Tor), 2016

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. "Is the Post-in Postmodernism the Post-in Postcolonial?" Critical Inquiry, vol. 17, no. 2, 1991, pp. 336-357.

Arjana, Sophia Rose. Veiled Superheroes : Islam, Feminism, and Popular Culture. 2018

Csicsery-Ronay Jr, Istvan. "Dis-Imagined Communities: Science Fiction and the Future of Nations." Science fiction, vol. 215, 2002, p. 37.

Dar, Jehanzeb. "Holy Islamophobia, Batman! Demonization of Muslims and Arabs in Mainstream American Comic Books." Counterpoints, vol. 346, 2010, pp. 99-110.

Davis, Julie and Robert Westerfelhaus. "Finding a Place for a Muslimah Heroine in the Post-9/11 Marvel Universe: New X-Men's Dust." Feminist Media Studies, vol. 13, no. 5, 2013, pp. 800-809.


Ottoman History Podcast is a noncommerical website intended for educational use. Anyone is welcome to use and reproduce our content with proper attribution under the terms of noncommercial fair use within the classroom setting or on other educational websites. All third-party content is used either with express permission or under the terms of fair use. Our page and podcasts contain no advertising and our website receives no revenue. All donations received are used solely for the purposes of covering our expenses. Unauthorized commercial use of our material is strictly prohibited, as it violates not only our noncommercial commitment but also the rights of third-party content owners.

We make efforts to completely cite all secondary sources employed in the making of our episodes and properly attribute third-party content such as images from the web. If you feel that your material has been improperly used or incorrectly attributed on our site, please do not hesitate to contact us.