Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, cultural history, and criticism. Her study of the Arabian Nights, Stranger Magic (2011) won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and a Sheikh Zayed Book Award. In 2015, she received the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, Professorial Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London; Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and President of the Royal Society of Literature. Recent books include Once Upon a Time: A short history of Fairy Tale and Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists. She has just finished Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir, about her childhood in Cairo, and is writing a study of the concept of Sanctuary. She has been working, in Sicily and the UK, with the project www.storiesintransit.org, since 2016.
The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture is given once a year in honor of the public intellectual and literary critic Edward W. Said, who taught in the English & Comparative Literature Department at Columbia from 1963 until 2003 and who was a member of the board of guarantors at the Italian Academy. Professor Said was perhaps best known for his books Orientalism, published in 1978, and Culture and Imperialism, published in 1993, both of which made major contributions to the field of cultural and postcolonial studies. The Annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture pays tribute to Professor Said by bringing to Columbia speakers who embody his beliefs and the legacy of his work.
Introduction by Gauri Viswanathan, Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities.
The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture is made possible in part by the generosity of The JKW Foundation and The Abraaj Group.