Kickoff - Madhur Jaffrey
Opening Night :
Sir Salman Rushdie +Suketu Mehta
Festival Overview
Festival Schedule
Closing Night: Mira Nair + Sabrina Dhawan
Hunter College Site Map
Oct 24th Session 1A
Oct 24th Session 1B
Oct 24th Session 2A
Oct 24th Session 2B
Oct 24th Session 3A
Oct 24th Session 3B
Oct 24th Session 4A
Oct 24th Session 4B
Oct 25th Session 1A
Oct 25th Session 1B
Oct 25th Session 2A
Oct 25th Session 2B
Oct 25th Session 3A
Oct 25th Session 3B
Oct 25th Session 4A
Oct 25th Session 4B
Literary Pub Crawl
Press Release
Call For Submission
in collaboration with The English Department, Hunter College (West Building) at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue

OCTOBER 22-25, 2015
October 25th, 2015 - 10:45 - 11:45 am
Session 1A
Over-Exposed and Invisible: Writing the South Asian Muslim Experience
Authors: Kavitha Rajagopolan, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Moustafa Bayoumi
Moderator/Author: Marina Budhos

Buy Tickets
Kavitha RajagopalanKavitha Rajagopalan is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and at the World Policy Institute, where she specializes in global migration and diverse cities. She is the author of Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West (Rutgers University Press 2008), which was the finalist for the Twelfth Asian American Literary Award in Nonfiction. She writes and comments widely on various issues related to migration and diversity, previously as an oped columnist for PBS and Newsday, as a contributor to various policy magazines and scholarly journals, as a reviewer for The Feminist Review and The LA Review of Books, and as a contributor to two books on education in pluralist societies. She is co-author of a book on educational assessment (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and is at work on a literary nonfiction book about undocumented migration worldwide. She holds an MA from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and a BA from the College of William & Mary, and is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a John J. McCloy Journalism Fellowship and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.
Muslims of MetropolisIn Muslims of Metropolis, Kavitha Rajagopalan takes a much-needed step in personalizing and humanizing our understanding of the Muslim diaspora. Tracing the stories of three very different families-a Palestinian family moving to London, a Kurdish family moving to Berlin, and a Bangladeshi family moving to New York-she reveals a level of complexity and nuance that is seldom considered. Through their voices and in their words, Rajagopalan describes what prompted these families to leave home, what challenges they faced in adjusting to their new lives, and how they came to view their place in society. Interviews with community leaders, social justice organizations, and with academics and political experts in each of the countries add additional layers of insight to how broad political issues, like nationalist conflict, immigration reform, and antiterrorism strategies affect the lives of Muslims who have migrated in search of economic stability and personal happiness.

Tanwi Nandini IslamTanwi Nandini Islam is a writer, multimedia artist, and founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a handcrafted natural perfume and skincare line. Her writing has appeared on,, and, and in the Feminist Wire, Open City, and Hyphen magazine. A graduate of Vassar College and Brooklyn College’s MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn. You can visit her website at
Bright LinesBright Lines is a fresh, dynamic new voice in literary fiction, and she writes passionately about the complex political and cultural histories of her Bangladeshi-American characters. In this magnetic debut novel, Tanwi tells the powerful story of one family and three young women coming of age in Brooklyn and Bangladesh.

Inspired in part by Tanwi’s trips to Bangladesh to visit the village where her parents grew up and to research the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bright Lines’s vibrant narrative encompasses issues of immigration, feminism, gender, coming of age, botany, and fashion. Fans of Junot Díaz, Dinaw Mengestu, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo, and Jhumpa Lahiri are sure to be captured by Tanwi’s energetic prose and her deep understanding of the ways in which different generations come to live in America.

Moustafa BayoumiMoustafa Bayoumi is the author of the critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America (Penguin), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction, and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The National,, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education,The Progressive, and other places. His essay “Disco Inferno” was included in the collection Best Music Writing of 2006 (Da Capo). Bayoumi is also the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage) and editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (O/R Books & Haymarket Books). With Lizzy Ratner, he also co-edited a special issue of The Nation magazine on Islamophobia (July 2-9, 2012). He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal,The Chicago Sun-Times, and on CNN, FOX News, Book TV, National Public Radio, and many other media outlets from around the world. Bayoumi is a professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In 2015, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Southern Vermont College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
This Muslim Life AmericaThis Muslim Life America - Over the last few years, Moustafa Bayoumi has been an extra in Sex and the City 2 playing a generic Arab, a terrorist suspect (or at least his namesake “Mustafa Bayoumi” was) in a detective novel, the subject of a trumped-up controversy because a book he had written was seen by right-wing media as pushing an “anti-American, pro-Islam” agenda, and was asked by a U.S. citizenship officer to drop his middle name of Mohamed.
Others have endured far worse fates. Sweeping arrests following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led to the incarceration and deportation of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, based almost solely on their national origin and immigration status. The NYPD, with help from the CIA, has aggressively spied on Muslims in the New York area as they go about their ordinary lives, from noting where they get their hair cut to eavesdropping on conversations in cafés. In This Muslim American Life, Moustafa Bayoumi reveals what the War on Terror looks like from the vantage point of Muslim Americans, highlighting the profound effect this surveillance has had on how they live their lives. To be a Muslim American today often means to exist in an absurd space between exotic and dangerous, victim and villain, simply because of the assumptions people carry about you. In gripping essays, Bayoumi exposes how contemporary politics, movies, novels, media experts and more have together produced a culture of fear and suspicion that not only willfully forgets the Muslim-American past, but also threatens all of our civil liberties in the present.

Marina BudhosMarina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction, for both adults and young adults. Her latest book, Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom & Science, co-authored with her husband Marc Aronson, was a 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, and was cited by The New York Times as exemplary nonfiction for children.
Budhos will next publish two books: Watched (Wendy Lamb/Random House), a follow-up novel to her award-winning Ask Me No Questions, about surveillance of Muslim communities in our post 9/11 era. With Marc Aronson, she will also publish The Eyes of the World: Robert Capa and Gerda Taro & the Invention of Modern Photojournalism (Henry Holt and Company) in 2017.

Ms. Budhos has received an EMMA (Exceptional Merit Media Award), a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, and has twice received a Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. She has been a Fulbright Scholar to India, given talks throughout the country and abroad, and is currently an associate professor of English and Asian Studies at William Paterson University.
Home   About Us   Current Events   NewsLetter   Tickets  Membership/Contributions   Events Archive
Art   Books   Dance   Fashion   Film   Music   Theatre