deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
University of Birmingham (UK)
contact email: 

Muslim Women’s Popular Fiction AHRC Research Network International Conference

Birmingham, UK, 5-9 September 2023

Free to attend for all speakers and attendees.

Keynote speakers

Professor Claire Chambers

Dr Rehana Ahmed

In the twenty-first century, readers, publishers, and booksellers have noted a surge in popularity of genre works written by Muslim women, particularly in the Anglosphere. From the detective novels of Ausma Zehanat Khan to G. Willow Wilson’s fantasy fiction, Ayisha Malik’s romantic fiction to graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi – Muslim women authors are embracing popular fiction forms and genres.

We invite paper proposals for a free international conference on Muslim women’s popular and genre fiction and film across all languages, forms and periods. We aim to bring together researchers to examine the global turn in popular fiction, and the concurrent ‘popular turn’ in Muslim women’s writing and film-making. Focusing on writing by women deemed ‘popular’ rather than ‘literary’, we encourage proposals that engage with under-studied popular and genre texts (including romance, chick lit, detective fiction, Young Adult, fantasy, life writing, and science fiction) from a range of critical disciplinary perspectives.

Indicative topics (not exhaustive):

  • Studies of individual authors or works of popular and genre fiction
  • Translation of popular and genre works by Muslim authors
  • Visual culture (graphic novels, comics, film, TV)
  • Digital culture (Instagram, YouTube, BookTok)
  • Decoloniality and popular fiction
  • Teaching Muslim women’s popular fiction
  • Publishing and production

A key aim of the conference is to encourage collaboration between researchers working in similar areas but across languages, disciplines and genres. The conference programme includes time for researchers to meet previously identified and new research partners during structured sessions in which network members can plan for future collaboration. We intend to publish collaborative outputs resulting from the conference in an edited book, Muslim Women’s Popular Fiction, intended for publication in Manchester University Press’ Multicultural Textualities series.

We have allocated funding to help with travel and attendance costs to make the conference as accessible as possible. The conference will be child-friendly, with play spaces available. We are investigating a hybrid option – please indicate in your proposal whether this is an option you would like to consider.

Please send abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers, including a short bio for all speakers, to by 16 April 2023. Acceptances will be sent by the end of April. Panel proposals of three or more papers are also welcome. Please direct all queries to

For more infomation, go to:

Funding generously provided by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council: