After the Rushdie affair in 1989 there was an important shift in the public life of British Muslims. Their image came under closer scrutiny which led to new social policies and self-perceptions. This moment also served as a significant pivot in the narrative and representational patterns in British Muslim literature. Claire Chambers
, Senior Lecturer at the University of York, examines these new paradigms in Making Sense of Contemporary British Muslim Novels
(Palgrave, 2019). She outlines Muslim cultural production during this period through a literary analysis of the senses, especially those beyond the visual. Overall, Chambers provides a rich portrait of the non-visual senses in British Muslim fiction over the past three decades. This book also continues the work of her previous one, Britain Through Muslim Eyes: Literary Representations, 1780-1988
(Palgrave, 2015). In our conversation we discussed the Rushdie affair and its consequences, how to approach touch, smell, taste, and hearing in literature, the role of Islam in contemporary literary representation, the senses in a digital age of advanced technologies, the construction of religious practice or gendered norms, radicalization, and authors such as Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, and Mohsin Hamid, among many others.
Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab
(Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled
The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes
Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and
New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.