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Scotland's MuslimsSociety, Politics and Identity$
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Peter Hopkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474427234

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474427234.001.0001

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Representing Islam at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

(p.236) 12 Representation
Scotland's Muslims

Fayaz S. Alibhai

Edinburgh University Press

The year 2013 saw the thirtieth Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF), where it was expected that 200,000 people would be in attendance over the course of 17 days for some 700 events involving ‘[m]ore than 800 authors from around the world’ (BBC, 2013). Despite its size, the festival, set in Charlotte Square Gardens, manages to feel like a tented village community. Children laugh and loll about on a low wooden dais, eating ice cream from the stall inside the gardens, their parents sitting beside them. This study draws from ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2011 and 2013 and focuses on Edinburgh, where comparatively little research on Muslims has so far been undertaken. In doing so, it explore the representation of Islam within the confines of one of Britain’s most widely acclaimed literary festivals, the EIBF. It begins by examining the festival as a public square. It then discusses the festival’s production of an ‘Islamicate’ space. Finally, it analyses how the festival may be conceived as a representation of Islamicate space.

Keywords:   Representation, Edinburgh, Book Festival, Literary festival, Islamicate

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