microphone purple

Not quite a world tour, I know (I can fantasise can’t I?), but this is probably the closest I will ever get to one. Over the next few months I am giving talks in places as distant as Ann Arbor and Lahore, Sweden and South Africa. Here’s a round up of my talks; do come along if you are able.


7 August 2015
The state of free expression after Charlie Hebdo

Wilderness Festival
Cornbury Park
Oxfordshire, UK

A discussion organized by PEN International at the Wilderness Festival. The other speakers are Tahmima Anam and Anshuman Mondal. Details and tickets from PEN International or the Wilderness Festival.


13 August 2015
TB Davie Memorial Lecture

Smuts Hall
Rugby Road, Upper Campus
University of Cape Town
Cape Town
South Africa

The TB Davie Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture on academic freedom in memory of TB Davie, vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town from 1948 to 1955. Previeous speakers have included Walter Sissulu, Wole Soyinka, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and Nadine Strossen. I will be speaking on ‘Free Speech in an Age of Identity Politics’. Details and tickets from UCT.


23 September 2015
Stephen Lissenburgh Memorial Lecture

National Institute of Economic and Social Research
2 Dean Trench Street,
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE

The Stephen Lissenburgh Memorial Lecture lecture was created in honour of the economist Stephen Lissenburgh who was tragically killed in Sri Lanka as a result of the 2004 tsunami. It was organised first by the Policy Studies Institute and now by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. I will be speaking on ‘What’s Wrong with Multiculturalism?’. Details and tickets from the NIESR.


1-3 October 2015
The Fate of Freedom of Expression in Liberal Democracies

Wellesley College
106 Central St
Massachussetts 02481

A three-day conference on free speech. I will be talking on ‘Free Speech in an Age of Identity Politics’. Other speakers include Jacob Mchangama, Flemming Rose, Suzanne Nossel and Jodi Ginsberg. Details from Wellesley College.


5 October 2015
The Making of European Jihadis

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor

I am giving a talk as part of the Centre for European Studies/Islamic Studies Programme. More details from the University of Michigan.


22-24 October 2015
‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World

Makedonia Palace,
2 Megalou Alexandrou Avenue,
54640 Thessaloniki

A conference organised by Networking European Citizenship Education (NECE) on perceptions of the ‘Other’ in European conflicts. I am speaking on a panel on ‘Identity discourses and politics in times of crisis’. Details from NECE.


11 November 2015
Migration, identity, history and heritage

National Conference
Riksantikvarieämbetet/Swedish National Heritage Board

I am giving the keynote address to the annual conference of the Riksantikvarieämbetet (the Swedish National Heritage Board) on the changing relationships between migration,
identity, and ideas of belongingness, history and heritage. Details from the Riksantikvarieämbetet.


19 November 2015
What does science tell us about race and racism?

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4BS

A discussion about science and race with Aoife McLysaght and Heidi Mirza. Details and tickets from the RI.


19-21 February 2016
Lahore Literary Festival

Alhamra Arts Center

The Lahore Literary Festival has developed over the past few years into one of the world’s great literary festivals. I have not yet sorted out the details of my talk, but this is probably the event at which I am most excited to be speaking. Details and tickets from the Lahore Literary Festival.


  1. Fi

    All the very best on your speaking tour Kenan.

    I hope you’ll come to Scotland at some point, beacause as a society, we Scots have a very worrying tendency to a kind of nordic, civic, illiberalism, as the disgraceful stance taken by some in Scottish Pen on Charlie Hebdo will testify. We need more exposure to views like yours in order to provide some badly needed balance. This Scottish PEN discussion below is depressing beyond belief and gives you a flavour of the state of a lot of thinking here.

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