All events will be in the Project Room on the first floor of 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh.

Claire Chambers – 20th January – 7.15pm – Listen to this lecture here

‘Muslim Literary Representations of Britain, 1780−Present’

Claire Chambers is a lecturer at the University of York and an expert in contemporary South Asian literature written in English and in literary representations of British Muslims. Her book British Muslim Fictions: Interviews with Contemporary Writers was published in 2011. This year Claire published, with Caroline Herbert, Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora: Secularism, Religion, Representations. She is currently completing her second book, Representations of Muslims in Britain, which traces the development of artistic depictions of UK-based Muslims from the eighteenth century to the present day. This lecture is in conjunction with the English Literature Department, who are kindly providing wine after the talk.

Leila Aboulela – Reading and Q&A – 3rd February – 5.30pm

Born and raised in Sudan, Leila Aboulela is an award-winning writer who now lives in Aberdeen from where she has penned three renowned novels, The Translator (1999), Minaret (2005) and Lyrics Alley (2011), as well as a collection of short stories, Coloured Lights (2001), and a BBC Radio 4 commissioned play, The Insider (2013). Much of this output has examined the ways that religious faith, gender and class are ‘translated’ between cultures in trademark elegant and understated prose. Leila has said of her work: ‘I want to show the psychology, the state of mind and the emotions of a person who has faith. I am interested in going deep, not just looking at ‘Muslim’ as a cultural or political identity but something close to the centre, something that transcends but doesn’t deny gender, nationality, class and race.’ Refreshments will be available after the talk.

Iyad Hayatleh – Poetry reading and Q&A – 17th February – 5.30pm – Listen to the event here

Glasgow-based Iyad Hayatleh is a Palestinian poet and translator who moved to Scotland from Syria in 2000. His first collection of poems, Beyond All Measure, was published in 2007 and since then he has collaborated with the Scottish poet Tessa Ranford on a two-way translation project for a book, Rug of a Thousand Colours, with poems inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam. Refreshments will be available after the talk.

Tina Gharavi – Screening of Last of the Dictionary Men and Q&A – 5th March – 5.30pm – Listen to the event here

Tina Gharavi is a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker and screenwriter of Iranian heritage whose films and documentaries have examined her own experiences travelling from her adopted hometown of Newcastle to Tehran in Mother/Country (2001), recording the history of Yemeni migration to the North-Eastern English town of South Shields in Last of the Dictionary Men (2008) and documenting the lasting impact of American boxer Muhammad Ali’s extraordinary visit to the Muslim communities in South Shields for her 2008 film, The King of South Shields. Her first full length fiction film I Am Nasrine (2012) traced the arrival of two Iranian asylum seekers to Newcastle and gained Gharavi her first BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. Refreshments will be available after the talk.


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