How have Muslims in Britain been depicted in literature, both historically and in contemporary texts? Have events such as the Rushdie affair or 7/7 imposed a reductive stereotype onto a diverse, heterogeneous minority?

Our panel will take a look at how Muslims appear throughout British literature, whether as creators of texts or as characters within them, and how those roles and representations have arisen and changed over time.

Guests include Claire Chambers, whose book ‘Britain Through Muslim Eyes’ examines (among other things) fictional representations of Britain by Muslim writers; and Rehana Ahmed, author of ‘Writing British Muslims’, which explores how works of literature inform the debate about the place of Muslims in Britain. They’re joined by author, commentator and reviewer Robin Yassin-Kassab, whose books include the novel ‘The Road From Damascus’, and (with Leila al-Shami) ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War’. Leeds Beckett University’s Caroline Herbert chairs.



Rehana Ahmed

Rehana Ahmed is Lecturer in English at Queen Mary University of London. She researches, teaches and writes about British Muslim, British Asian and South Asian literature and culture.

Claire Chambers

Claire Chambers is a Senior Lecturer in Global Literature at the University of York, where she teaches twentieth and twenty-first century writing in English from South Asia, the Arab world, and their diasporas. Her previous books are British Muslim Fictions, Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora, and Britain Through Muslim Eyes.

Robin Yassin-Kassab

Robin Yassin-Kassab has recently contributed to books including ‘Syria Speaks’, ‘Shifting Sands’ and ‘Beta Life: Stories from an A-Life Future’. His book reviews and commentary appear in The Guardian, The National, al-Araby al-Jadeed, the Daily Beast and elsewhere.

Caroline Herbert

Caroline Herbert is Senior Lecturer in postcolonial literature at Leeds Beckett University. Caroline’s research centres on South Asian literature and film, and on representations of postcolonial cities. Caroline is editor of ‘Postcolonial Cities: South Asia’, co-editor (with Claire Chambers) of ‘Imagining Muslims of South Asia and the Diaspora’, and is currently writing a book about literary and visual representations of Bombay/Mumbai.