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Speaker: Dame Marina Warner

30 October 2019


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 explores the potential of imaginative tale-spinning in establishing a sense of place and belonging; she discusses how words and stories, myths and legends can help give character to unfamiliar territory and build connections and community.

The lecture includes a short film – ‘Stories in Transit - Giocherenda Workshop September 2018’. This can be found at

About the speaker

Professor 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). See more at


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.