Winter Tales Book Festival

Winter Tales Book Festival logo

The Winter Tales Book Festival is a festival of literature, religion and the imagination, running 3-5 December 2021, at New College, University of Edinburgh. Amidst a packed programme featuring the likes of Robert Harris, Sally Magnusson, Miles Jupp, Val McDermid, James Robertson and Mona Siddiqui, IASH is delighted to support two events linked to our Institute Project on Decoloniality.


On Friday 3 December from 14:30 to 15:30 GMT, IASH-Alwaleed Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Nadeen Dakkak is taking part in the panel session Books for the Hostile Environment: Facts, Fictions and Futures of Migration, with Laura Jeffery,  Victoria Williamson and Marjorie Lotfi Gill, chaired by Ulrich Schmiedel. This event asks: what can literature do to resist the hostile environment? In the UK, hostile environment policies were introduced to make the life of people who cannot prove they have a right to live here as unbearable as possible. The criminalisation of refugees and refugee relief is a concerning and controversial issue across the globe. This panel features renowned authors, academics, and activists who come together to present facts and fictions about migration, point to possible futures, and ponder the role that literature can have in making societies more welcoming. Literature might seem too lofty to make a difference, but it can have crucial – sometimes surprising – consequences for how we live together.

Free tickets are available on Eventbrite. This is an in-person event at the Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Theatre, New College.


On Saturday 4 December from 13.15 to 14.15 GMT, we are sponsoring In Conversation with Mara Menzies. Mara is a Kenyan/Scottish storyteller and writer whose novel Blood and Gold originated from the stage show of the same name. Her new novel explores the legacy of colonialism and slavery through myth, legend and fantasy. Join her as she speaks about the inspiration for the stories and performs some of them in her unique, inimitable style.

Free tickets are available on Eventbrite. This is an in-person live event, taking place in the Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Room, New College.