Conference final schedule


***Below is the final schedule for the MWPF Conference (5-9 September, 2023). All times are UK summer time (UTC+1)***

Tuesday 5 September

11:45am – 1:00pm
Registration, Lunch and Welcome

Panel Session 1A: Memory and Memoir

Nancy Sharma and Smita Jha: Palimpsests of Memory and Identity: A Critical Study of Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve (2016)

Adish A S and Reju George Mathew: A Kashmiri Woman Stuck in Crossfire: Locating Farah Bashir’s Memoir in the Corpus of Women’s Life-writings

Wafa Hamid: Outsiders at Home: (Be)longing, Dislocation and Identity in Annie Zaidi’s Bread, Cement, Cactus

Panel Session 1B: Romance and Chick Lit 1

Anam Feroz: “I am My Hero”: Foregrounding Islam in Presentation of Female Subjectivities in Pakistani Popular Fiction

Faisal Nazir: How it Happened: Towards a Muslim Women’s Minor Literature


Panel Session 2A: Crime and Detective Fiction

Karen Ferreira-Meyers: Muslima in South African crime fiction: a scoping review

Nayab Sadiq: Such is this Loneliness: Pakistani Television Drama, Female agency combined with Profeminist Activism

Khamsa Qasim: Karachi is a wasteland where it is easy to find an assassin than meet an attractive, single intelligent man”: Investigating Urban Walking and The poetics of A Playful Flâneusian Gaze on Contemporary Karachi in Karachi you Are Killing Me.

Panel Session 2B: Erotic and Romantic Fiction

Uzma A. Ansari: Halal Sex/ Sex is Halal: A decolonial reading of the libidinous imaginary of Layla Abdulla-Poulos aka Lyndell William’s romance novels.

Diviani Chaudhuri: Stepping out of line without experiencing pleasure: the politics of unmet desire in Leila Slimani’s Adele

Grace Adeneye: “The Mills and Boon Muslim,”: Past, Present, and Future Representations

Comfort Break

Illustrating Muslim Lives
Wasafiri‘s Deputy Editor Sana Goyal moderates a panel in conversation with Sabba Khan and Deena Mohamed, two illustrators and authors who offer critiques of capitalism, sexism, and racism, capturing urban life, and confronting the state — its borders and bureaucracy – through compelling words and images in their books: The Roles We Play and Your Wish is My Command. Fifteen years after the publication of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, how are women and artists of colour using the graphic form to tell their stories and continue to defy stereotypes today? How do, and can, graphics and comics shape contemporary ways of storytelling — beyond words? What can future forms of illustration look like?


Wednesday 6 September

Registration and Coffee

Panel Session 3A:
Fantasy and the Uncanny

Amal Sayyid: Vulnerability, Love, and Ethical Relationalities: Reconceiving Arab and Muslim Masculinities in Hafsa Faizal’s Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Shweta Sachdeva Jha: Unfulfilled Love’, ‘Corpses’ and the Talented Mrs Hijab Imtiaz Ali (1908-1999)

Sana Younis: Critical Resistance: Imagining Muslim Worlds in Young Adult Fantasy

Panel Session 3B: Islam and Feminism

Azam Sarwar: The Politics of (M)Othering and Pakistani Women’s Cinema: Applying a Motherhood Studies and Islamic Feminism lens to Sitara: Let Girls Dream (2020)

Abdullah Muhammad: Postfeminist Reading of Pakistani Popular Fiction by Women

Amrita Basu Roy Chowdhury: Can the Muslim Women Speak in Egyptian Society? Interpreting Alifa Rifaat’s Short Stories from Gender-Religion Nexus


Panel Session 4A: Graphic Narratives

Esra Santesso: Feminism Revisited: Muslim Comics and Female Visibility

Aleena Shahzad, “Grief Comes in Waves”: Graphic Representation of Skin Borders via Pencilling Comics in Grey Matter by Sabdezar Irfan

Shekufeh Owlia: Wavering between Decolonization and Neo-Orientalism: A Study of Marjane Satrapi’s Graphic Memoir Persepolis

Panel Session 4B: Humour

Daniela Vitolo: Of Agency and Humour: Representing Women in Pakistani Chick Lit

Madiha Noman: Politics and Punchlines: The Quiet Rebellion of Indian Muslim Women in Stand-up Comedy

Srestha Bhattacharya: Humour and Self-representation in Muslim Women’s Genre Fiction


Panel Session 5A: Other Worlds

Sobia Kiran: The Alien in Space: Sidra f. Sheikh’s The Light Blue Jumper (2017)

Fauzia Abid: From Burned out to Bestowed: Techno Females Enjoying the Thrill of Glass cliff Via Heterotopias of Deviation in  Sidra F. Sheikh’s The Light Blue Jumper

Asma Mansoor and Aroosa Kanwal: Miracle, Marvel or Abomination? Re-conceptualising Djinn, Posthumanism and Islam in the Daevabad Trilogy

Panel Session 5B: Romance and Chick Lit 2

Eric Selinger: Irony, Faith, and Genre in Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan Trilogy

Amy Burge: “Not that type of book”?: Genre and Expectation in Ayisha Malik’s ‘Sofia Khan’ Trilogy

Muhammed Farouk Salem: “We strive to remain lifelong friends”: Muslim Women’s Bonding in These Impossible Things and The Girls of Riyadh


Sadia Azmat, author of Sex Bomb, in conversation


Thursday 7 September

Registration and Coffee

Panel Session 6A: Female Agency 

Javaria Farooqui: Haya, Noor, and Emaan: Legitimizing Love in Urdu Popular Romance Fiction

Rosy Hastir and Ajoy Batta: Transforming the Identity of Muslim Women in Pakistani Theatres: A Saga of Noteworthy Muslim Women’s Popular Fiction

Sadaf Mehmood: Transgressive Bodies: Rehumanizing Prostitutes in Pakistani Popular Fiction

Rehnuma Sazzad: Decoloniality and Popular fiction: Leila Aboulela’s Minaret (2006) and The Kindness of Enemies (2016)

Panel Session 6B: Diasporic and Transnational Muslims 

Elham Fatma: Religious Trauma in Popular Fiction by Select West-Based Queer Muslim Women of South Asian Descent

Antalin Shalu: Breaking Stereotypes: An Intersectional Analysis of Muslim American Women’s Identities in S.K. Ali’s Saints and Misfits

Esra Almas and Simla Doğangün: Muslim Women Across Empires: Kenizé Mourad’s Fiction

Emel Zorluoğlu Akbey: Leila Aboulela’s Popular Fiction as World Literature

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Keynote 1: Claire Chambers – Pandemics, Health Inequality, and Muslim Women’s Writing


Panel Session 7A: Digital

Zaynab Seedat: “This Time We Have the Words and We Have the Means”: Feminist Resistance and Digital Occupation in Fozia Qazi’s “Curfew Diary”

Simi Salim: Virtual Pauudīsa and Sufi Whirls: Muslim Women’s Digital Life Writings in South India

Sameena Kausar: Girls of Riyadh: Voice to the marginalized half of society: Emails as a tool to express and convey

Panel Session 7B: Countering Stereotypes 

Miquel Pomar Amer: Shaping up the terrorist-hero for romance in Sara Naveed’s Our Story Ends Here

Seham Arishi: Material and Discursive Containment of Afghan Women’s Narratives in the UK Publishing Industry

Ramisha Rafique: The Postcolonial Flâneuse as Activist

Conference Dinner (optional)


Friday 8 September

Registration and Coffee

Keynote 2: Rehana Ahmed – 
“We Tick: Other”: Religion, Race, and Literary Solidarities in Three Essay Anthologies


Writing and networking session 1 (for all attendees)


Writing and networking session 2 (for all attendees)



Saturday 9 September (optional)

Optional activities

Note: all the below events are optional and self-organised i.e. you will need book these yourself, they are not part of the conference organisation. 

10.30am-12.30pm: Birmingham City Walking Tour, Digbeth, Public Art & Peaky Film Tour (must pre-book)

1.30pm-3.30pm: Birmingham City Walking Tour, Canals and Victorians to today’s city (must pre-book)