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About the lecture

‘Home is where I set my foot’ (La mia casa è dove poggio i piedi) is a motto used by refugees and forced migrants in Palermo, who frequent the café Moltivolti in Ballaro, the historic, multicultural heart of the city. In this lecture, Marina Warner will explore the potential of imaginative tale-spinning in establishing a sense of place and belonging; she will discuss how words and stories, myths and legends can help give character to unfamiliar territory and build connections and community.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

About the speaker

photo of Dame Marina WarnerProfessor Dame Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols and fairy tales. She is a Distinguished Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London. In 2017 she was the first woman to be elected president of the Royal Society of Literature. Her books include Phantasmagoria (Oxford University Press, 2006), Stranger Magic: Charmed States & The Arabian Nights (Chatto & Windus, 2011), Once Upon a Time – A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, 2014), Fly Away Home (Salt Publishing, 2015), and Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists (Thames & Hudson, 2018).


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The podcast of this lecture is available here >>


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Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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Forthcoming events

Ukraine: Insights and Implications

Tuesday, 17 October 2023, 1pm to 2pm @ Online via Zoom

Book launch: Time and Power in Azraq Refugee Camp

Wednesday, 01 November 2023, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 2, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Who Gets Believed? A conversation with Dina Nayeri | Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2023

Monday, 20 November 2023, 5pm to 6.30pm @ St Anne's College, 56 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HS