Representing Muslims in Scotland and the North-East: A Series of Seminars with British Muslim Writers, Poets and Filmmakers

We are pleased to announce a new seminar series organised by PhD students in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

The  Representing Muslims in Scotland and the North-East seminar series seeks to gain a fresh perspective on the frequently fraught negotiation of ‘British Muslim’ identities.

Each event will begin with a short introduction, a reading or viewing of their work, and an interview by current PhD students Sibyl Adam or Peter Cherry. The talks are public – everyone is welcome. There will be a chance for the audience to ask questions at the end of each event.

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, Project Room

‘Muslim Literary Representations of Britain, 1780−Present’


Leila Aboulela – Reading and Q&A – 3rd February – 5pm, Project Room

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).


Iyad Hayatleh – Poetry reading and Q&A – 17th February – 5pm, Project Room

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.


Tina Gharavi – Screening of Last of the Dictionary Men and Q&A – 5th March – 5pm, Project Room

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.

More information on the seminar series is available here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *