Literary Representations of “British Muslims”

Thursday 8 November 2007, Senate House, University of London, Malet St., London WC1E

Hosted by the Institute of English Studies in association with Goldsmith’s College, University of London, and Leeds Metropolitan University.

Deadline for handing in proposals was 30 July 2007.

In the current political climate, an increasingly complex debate is emerging about what it means to be “British Muslim”.  Yet criticism of the UK ‘s migrant writing still tends to subsume religious identity under such categories  as ethnicity, nationality, hybridity and “race”. In an effort to develop a more appropriate critical vocabulary, this colloquium will examine representations of Islam and specific Muslim communities in recent British  writing. It will explore the diversity of Islam, both as a religion and a civilization, as it is represented in a rich and often contestatory body of writing.

Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to:

-Transculturalism in “British Muslim” writing

-Formal Strategies in Representing Belief

-Literary Stereotyping of the Islamist or Terrorist

-The Satanic Verses Affair and its Legacies

-Strengths and Limitations of “secular criticism”

-Literary Production: Questions of Publication and Audience

-Representations of: Islam’s Proscribed and Prescribed Practices; Radical Politics amongst “British Muslims”; Racism, Islamophobia, and Social Exclusion; Islam and Gender Politics; Atheism vs. Faith; The ‘War on Terror’ ; “British Muslims” and Globalization

Please send abstracts of 200 words, with brief biographical information (via Word attachment) to Dr Claire Chambers; email:, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, Civic Quarter, Leeds LS1 3HE.

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Filed under conference, Islam, literature

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