Dr Annie Webster

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Contact details



21 Buccleuch Place

Post code


I joined the University of Edinburgh as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in 2023. My current research project 'Stories of the Syrian New Scots: Resettlement Geographies in Refugee Arts' explores how the creative practices of refugees illuminate ecologies of displacement in Scotland and beyond.

Before joining the English Department, I completed a PhD in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies at SOAS (University of London) which was funded by the Wolfson Foundation. I also hold an MSc in Arab World Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in English and Related Literature from the University of York. In 2022 I was an Early Career Fellow at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, and from 2022-2023 I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh. I have also previously taught at the University of Cambridge, King's College London, and SOAS.

My work has been published in Comparative Critical Studies, Wasafiri, and Literature & Medicine.



PhD, Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS (University of London)

MSc, Arab World Studies, University of Edinburgh

BA (Hons), English and Related Literature, University of York

Research summary

My research focuses on contemporary Arabic literature and culture. I am particularly interested in how cultural production in the Middle East engages with experiences of conflict and forced migration from the region.

My current project 'Stories of the Syrian New Scots: Resettlement Geographies in Refugee Arts' stands at the intersection of Arabic cultural studies, refugee studies and environmental humanities. It explores the creative practices of Syrian refugees in Scotland (who have become popularly known as 'Syrian New Scots'), looking at how they engage with evolving geographies of refugee resettlement which have expanded in recent years to include rural and remote areas of Scotland. By tracing a spectrum of creative practices from poetry to theatre, visual arts, and forms of digital storytelling, this project develops a framework for theorising the located nature of refugee arts emerging through transcultural interplay with the languages, histories, and geographies of local host communities.

My doctoral research explored narratives of 'creative destruction' in contemporary Iraqi fiction, looking at how novels and short stories by Iraqi authors have circulated as world literature in the wake of the 2003 Iraq War. I am currently developing this research as a monograph.

Knowledge exchange

I have wider research interests in modern Middle Eastern art and material culture studies. I have worked as a research and curatorial assistant for the collaborative project 'Ruins, Rubble and Renewal' led by Iraqi-British artist Hanaa Malallah, which has curated a number of exhibitions including: ‘Co-existent Ruins: Exploring Iraq’s Mesopotamian Past Through Contemporary Art’ (Brunei Gallery, 2022) and 'Artifacts Also Die' (ISAC Museum, University of Chicago, 2023).

Current project grants

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Past project grants

Digital Research Postdoctoral Fellowship - Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh (2022-2023)

Early Career Fellowship: Inclusion, Participation, Engagement - School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London (2022)

Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities - SOAS, University of London (2016-2019)