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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Narrating Everyday British Life by Authors of Muslim Heritage, Then and Now

26th August 2015, 17:30 to 19:00, Alington House, Sibyl Adams and Hannah Kershaw

Combining history, literature, and politics, this interdisciplinary talk will discuss the history of authors of Muslim heritage writing in the UK through an exploration of the work of two authors in particular: Atiya Fyzee (1877-1967) and Nadeem Aslam (1966-).

In the first half, Sibyl Adam will evaluate the historical resonance of Atiya Fyzee, one of the first Muslim women to write about living in the UK, by considering how she narrated the public events she attended in London in 1906-7 in her travelogue. By situating her narrative within the context of the Edwardian imperial metropolis, Sibyl will show the impact of being a colonial subject on Atiya’s narration of daily life and notions of selfhood.

In the second half, Hannah Kershaw will explore how Nadeem Aslam, a contemporary Pakistan-born author living and working in the UK, narrates the everyday cross-cultural interactions between the Pakistani migrant community and ‘the Whites’ in his 2004 novel Maps for Lost Lovers and what this can tell us about Muslim perspectives of contemporary British multiculturalism. Hannah will also show how Britain’s colonial history with India plays a significant role in how South Asian migrant communities navigate the problems of practising Islam in a secular country.

Hannah and Sibyl will emphasise the long history of authors of Muslim heritage (of varying degrees of cultural religiosity) writing about living in the UK, and by using two very different texts, suggest a development of literature that helps connect colonialism to current issues of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and migrant identities.

About Late Summer Lectures

Now in its sixth year, the Late Summer Lecture Series enables doctoral and postdoctoral student from the Department of English in Durham, Newcastle, and York to broadcast their ground-breaking research to a wider audience. The full programme for the latest instalment is now available for viewing on the Late Summer Lecture Series website, and reflects the diverse and exploratory nature of research currently undertaken by scholars in the North East.

Podcasts from previous lecture series can be downloaded via Research English At Durham.

Contact latesummerlectures@gmail.com for more information about this event.

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