Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Research Innovation and Engagement Projects

Waswasa: Whispers in Prayer (2021 to date)

Waswasa is a multi-media performance, incorporating an immersive graphic arts installation, film and live physical and spoken-word components. It offers a frank and nuanced portrayal of the often misunderstood and misrepresented act of Muslim prayer - its role, its value and the difficulties faced by Muslims in dedicating time to this pivotal practise in a fast-paced world of digital distractions. Funded by the Enhancing Research Cultures Fund from Research England, the project saw academics working with Soul City Arts and communities to capture and incorporate community voices into project, pioneering new forms of collaborative working in the process. Originally part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival of the Commonwealth Games, the story of Waswasa goes on ..... read more here.

together/apart. (2022 to date)

together/apart was a programme of intimate events, which initially played out on Warwick University campus in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Study and Warwick Arts Centre during autumn 2022. Taking the 75th anniversary of Indian Partition (August 2022) as its starting point, the programme brought together artists, community members, researchers, and teachers, featuring IAS visiting fellow Corinne Jaber, visiting artist Suman Gujral, Toronto-based historian Anam Zakria and Haroon Khalid amongst others. Activities included workshop and performance of The bus that didn't stop, a play by Corinne Jaber, exhibition of original print works and a community arts workshop by Suman Gujral, and a roundtable discussion in which academics, artists, community and came together to discus not only themes of partition, displacement, trauma, but also methods such as oral history collection, story-telling, and cultural production can help communities to retain agency in processing these at times dark, at times uplifting memories. We were able to draw in voices form the black Caribbean, Korean and German guests, seeking to compare experiences without displacing or overwriting each other's narratives. together/apart will continue .... read more here.

Reimagining Islam. (2016-19)

The 'Re-imagining Islam' project was a multi-dimensional outreach programme, which took key aspects of my research into Islam in German history and culture (1770-1918) and finds multiple pathways along which to communicate this material meaningfully to varying non-academic publics. The programme of events included public lectures, accompanied by a mobile exhibition, which took place in faith forums, religious and civic centres. The Two Chairs Exchange wing of the project reached out into secondary schools, were it impacted and enriched the delivery of the Key Stage 4 and 5 curriculum (14-18 year olds) across a number of subjects, including MFL and Religious Studies and stimulates extra-curricular arts projects, and was enhanced by a documentary film shot in Vienna, Austria. In its final phase, the project shifted to host a sequence of community events and arts projects designed to facilitate cross-community encounters, enhance public debate, cross-community empathy and more nuanced mutual understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in towns and cities across the UK. The project thus marked the beginnings of my working relationship with Soul City Arts and my first attempt to move beyond collaboration and towards the co-design of projects with off-campus partners ... read more here.

Occident Orient Research Network (2009-14)

This international research network (2009-14) joined together academics from the global community in an ongoing project, which considers the history of European Orientalisms; that is, the history of thinking about, representing und utilising images, associations and materials associated with the so-called Orient within European culture from the Enlightenment to the present day. Beginning with Germanophone Orientalism (a traditionally neglected, though since well commentated topic) the network has evolved to draw in Central and Eastern European forms of Orientalism into a unique and unprecedented comparative discussion.

The network was established in 2009, and was first envisaged by Dr James Hodkinson (Warwick Universty, GB), Professor Anil Bhatti (JNU, India). Other partners now including Dr Johannes Feichtinger and Dr Johann Heiss (ÖAW, Vienna) and Professor Shaswati Mazumdar (Delhi University), soon joined as key organisational players in the network, followed other academic participants in Berlin, London and North America. Since 2010, the network has aimed to hold one international symposium per year. The network has been generously funded by the 'Strategic Partnership Fund' and the 'Department of German Studies' at the University of Warwick; Delhi University Department of Germanic and Romance Studies; Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna); and Birkbeck College, University of London ... read more here.