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26 March 2024, Public Event, 7.30pm, Frankopan Hall, Jesus College & Online 

What’s novel about a novel? Storytelling and travelling knowledge – Shida Bazyar in conversation with Miriam Schwarz & Tara Talwar Windsor 

Shida Bazyar’s novel Sisters in Arms (translated by Ruth Martin) has been called “an explosive feminist and anti-racist novel about the importance of friendship”. It tells the story of three young women who are simultaneously at the forefront of the novel and on the margins of the society they live in. As women of Colour living in low-income families, they fully understand the demands of a white and consumer-oriented culture while standing with one foot in it – so to speak – and one foot out. Readers of the novel necessarily engage with their view of the world, even though mainstream society tends not to. 

Miriam Schwarz and Tara Talwar Windsor are part of a project that is developing free materials for book groups. Together with Shida Bazyar and – hopefully – members of the audience, they will discuss how novels take their characters and their readers on journeys across cultural contexts, and how this can make both characters and readers re-assess the things they think they know. How sound are our belief systems, viewed from another perspective? How easy or difficult is it to let the new knowledge gained from reading novels travel into everyday life? 

Register here: 


26 March 2024 

The Political Novel in Reading Groups 

This one-day workshop as part of the CAPONEU project (The Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe) will discuss how our project team can produce online, open-access resources to support the work of community and prison reading groups, with particular focus on reading political novels. This is part of our project work package on travelling knowledge and global epistemologies, which starts with the assumption that political fiction may be an important vehicle for the circulation of knowledge across class barriers, across time, across space and across communities, and which aims to critique dominant Eurocentric perspectives and power structures that shape how knowledge is transmitted and apprehended. 


21 March 2024 

Book Launch: Brothers by Jackie Thomae, 7pm, Goethe-Institut London 

Join critically acclaimed poet, writer, editor and sociocultural commentator Nii Ayikwei Parkes, in conversation with Jackie Thomae and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp as he casts a male gaze on this richly layered novel that follows the journey of two brothers as they navigate their adulthood, reluctant to centralise the colour of their skin as a way of defining how they see themselves and the decisions they make. 

More information and tickets here:  


11-12 January 2024 

Literature and the Rule of Law / Literatur und Rechtsstaat — Aesthetic negotiations 

This DAAD-funded workshop as part of the Cambridge-LMU Strategic Partnership investigates aesthetic negotiations of political freedom and justice and the role of the cultural imaginary in engaging with the relationship between the general and the particular.




31 October 2023, 5pm, Frankopan Hall, Jesus College

The Schröder Lecture 2023 

What is the Place of Prison in Democracies? A Conversation with Annelie Ramsbrock and Sarah Colvin


12 October 2023

Afropolitanism and Ada’s Realm: A conversation with Sharon Dodua Otoo

On 12 October, prizewinning author Sharon Dodua Otoo returned to Cambridge to speak with CPSJ/CAPONEU literary researcher Chalo’a Waya about the recently published English-language edition of her critically acclaimed novel Ada’s Realm. For a report on the event and to watch the event recording see:


12-14 July 2023

Knowledge and Narratives of East Germany before and after 1989

A three-day workshop funded by the Cambridge DAAD Research Hub and the Birmingham Institute for German and European Studies, which brought together researchers from across the humanities and social sciences to discuss new perspectives on East Germany. The event also included a public screening of the short film ‘The Open Secret’ (2022), an artistic documentary which explores questions of secrecy and power in relation to the East German Secret Police, and a Q&A session with filmmakers Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright. For more information, see:


27 June 2024, Goethe-Institut London 

Homelands, Nightmares, Good Immigrants. Essays in Dialogue 

Panel discussion with Fatma Aydemir, Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, Nikesh Shukla, Musa Okwonga and Chimene Suleyman, moderated by Leila Essa. 



18 May 2023

'Extreme polyphony': A reading and conversation with Mithu Sanyal

On 18 May the Cambridge DAAD Research Hub hosted author Mithu Sanyal, who read from her best-selling novel Identitti and its recent translation, and discussed her book in conversation with Kendal Karaduman, Syamala Roberts and Tara Talwar Windsor. Read more here:


15 May 2023

Poetry Reading & Conversation with Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç

On 15 May, the poet and political scientist Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç joined Miriam Schwarz and Tara Talwar Windsor to discuss and read from his poetry volume, prinzenbad (Elif Verlag, 2022) which explores the intimate intertwining of memory, language and desire, of geography, body and belief. The event was held in German and attended by undergraduates, postgraduates and staff. It was followed by a drinks reception and was generously supported by the German Section/Schröder Fund, the DAAD and Gonville & Caius.


8 March 2023

International Womxn’s Day

Queer, Working-Class and Kurdish Experiences. Narrative Interventions in Contemporary German Literature

To mark International Womxn’s Day 2023, writers Fatma Aydemir and Karosh Taha joined Maha El Hissy, Miriam Schwarz and Tara Talwar Windsor to talk about representations of Queer, working-class and postmigrant, especially Kurdish, experiences in German literature. The event offered a space to think critically about the kind of marginalised voices and stories that can be told in the contemporary German literary scene. Read more here:




14-18 March 2022

In March 2022, the CPSJ research group was thrilled to host a series of exciting events with the Bachmann-prizewinning author, Sharon Dodua Otoo, who will also be the inaugural Cambridge Schröder Writer in Residence.  

Sharon Dodua Otoo delivered the annual Schröder Lecture on Monday, 14 March 2022, exploring themes of Black aesthetics and Black writing from the Weimar Republic to the present. The talk is entitled, “In Search of Resonance: On Black German Literature and Literary Criticism.” The lecture can be watched back here:

On Friday, 18 March 2022, Sharon Dodua Otoo also gave a public reading from her highly acclaimed novel Adas Raum (2021), in English translation (by Jon Cho-Polizzi), and in conversation with the literary expert Maryam Aras. The event can also be watched back here:

We also hosted a symposium on the ‘Literary and Essayistic Writing of Sharon Dodua Otoo’. Further information can be found at:

CPSJ is very grateful for the support of the Cambridge DAAD Hub, Jesus College, and the Schröder Fund.


18-19 July 2022

Literary Acts of Agency



MORE EVENTS for 2022, 2021 and 2020 to follow!


Latest News

What’s novel about a novel? Storytelling and travelling knowledge – Shida Bazyar in conversation with Miriam Schwarz & Tara Talwar Windsor

22 March 2024

Join prize-winning novelist Shida Bazyar in conversation with Miriam Schwarz and Tara Talwar Windsor to discuss how novels take their characters and their readers on journeys across cultural contexts, and how this can make both characters and readers re-assess the things they think they know.

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28 February 2024

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