Check here for announcements regarding calls for papers, upcoming conferences, and publication information. 

  • Labors of Need: Lives of African and Asian Workers in the Middle East

    2019-08-20

    Recent years have witnessed growing interest in trans-regional migration from South Asia, South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East and North Africa. This is warranted both by the heavy reliance of economies from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates on low-wage labour migrants from countries such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and by the Middle East’s continuing importance as one of the nodes of global migration. It is no exaggeration to say that the Middle East’s oil and gas fields, its construction sites, shopping malls and, in many cases, its clerical offices and homes would simply cease to function without the precarious labours of migrant workers. Meanwhile, remittances - a large share of which stem from the Middle East and North Africa - make up just under 10% of the Philippines’ GDP, and over 30% of that of the Indian state of Kerala. 

    Journalists and commentators tend to focus only on the most well-known or controversial of these movements, highlighting, for instance, the employment conditions of the South Asian construction workers building the air-conditioned stadiums of Qatar in readiness for the 2022 World Cup, or the role of the Sudanese men fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen. These headlines, however, hide many stories of struggle and mobilisation, of precarious lives and precious creativity. Many of these workers, from Lebanon to Qatar, have striven to organise against the legal restrictions and racial discourse they must face, assisted in certain places by local activists and campaigners.

    Scholars, for their part, have begun to reconstruct the lifeworlds and everyday lives of migrant workers, their religious and affective dispositions, their place within the political economy of the contemporary Middle East, and the longer histories of movement, connection, and disconnection that have bound together parts of South Asia, South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa to the region. In recent years, a number of exciting, path-breaking, interventions have appeared, building on the scattered work of the 1990s and early 2000s. These recent interventions have helped to set an agenda and constitute a field. Much, however, remains to be done.

    It is in this spirit that Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies invites contributions to a special issue focusing on migration from South Asia, South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East and North Africa. Article-length contributions are invited from scholars working in the fields of history, area studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, political economy, political science, religious studies, cultural studies, and other cognate fields. These can consider, but are not limited to, the following questions:

    • Employment, sponsorship, and the legal regimes governing migration
    • The migration process: brokerage, smuggling, sponsorship, and travel
    • Migrants’ working lives in various sectors, from cleaning and domestic work to construction, waste management, and sex work
    • Gender and migration
    • Migrants’ lifeworlds, everyday lives, and leisure
    • Race, representation, and migration
    • Language and migration
    • Regional, religious, and social distinctions among migrants
    • Migrant activism, labour militancy, and interactions with local civil society and organised labour
    • Displacement, remittance, and migrants’ relations with their home regions
    • Longer trajectories of movement between South Asia, South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa

    Articles of between 7-10,000 words inclusive of endnotes, should be sent in ms word format to mashriq_mahjar@ncsu.edu by January 6, 2020

    Full submission guidelines can be found on our website:

    https://lebanesestudies.ojs.chass.ncsu.edu/index.php/mashriq/about/submissions

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  • CFP - Faith on the Move: Middle East Migrations and Religions

    2019-01-17

    The Global Turn has finally arrived in Middle Eastern Studies. An approach that was once the preserve  of a handful of historians and anthropologists--who for the past 20 years have articulated a different vision of the field through their work on migration, mobility and diasporas--has now been embraced by a broad swathe of scholars. This can be seen in various sub-fields, from emerging studies of the local/global Left in the Middle East, to interest in the Nahda’s  transnational resonances. This turn was most widely acknowledged in the recent annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association whose theme was The Global Middle East. Since its 2013  inaugural essay of first issue, Mashriq&Mahjar has become a polestar for this Global Turn as it relates to Middle East and North African Migration Studies.

    Despite the growing grip of the Global Turn on Middle Eastern Studies, there has been a notable lack of scholarly attention to how Middle Eastern religious practices and beliefs were, and are now being, globalized (notwithstanding a few notable exceptions). Overall, relatively little scholarship has hitherto paid sustained attention to how religion inflects the migratory experience, and how migration shapes religion in the diaspora or at “home.” This is all the more remarkable given the intimate nature of faith and religion, and the roles their presence and absence play--whether negatively or positively--in the formation of individual and communal identities and structures.

    In light of these lacunae, Mashriq&Mahjar invites scholars who are working in this field to submit manuscripts to be considered for publication in an upcoming special issue titled Faith on the Move: Middle East Migrations and Religions. We are looking for papers and research notes that engage and shape this field of inquiry along the following lines:

    • Historical accounts of diasporic communities of belief: their formation, challenges, transformations, etc.;
    • Relationships of diasporic religious communities and practices to institutions and clerics in the Mashriq and Maghrib;
    • Intersectionalities of gender, class, and religion;
    • Middle Eastern “sectarianism” and its encounter with Western liberal societies: neo-orientalist anxieties and diasporic responses;
    • Archiving religious experience and community;
    • Religion and cultural production in migrant communities, diasporas
    • Diasporic critiques of Middle Eastern religions

    For your essay to be considered for publication in this special issue please submit your manuscript to mashriq_mahjar@ncsu.edu.

    Deadline for submission: May 31, 2019

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  • Seeking Book Reviewers!

    2018-08-14

    Mashriq & Mahjar is currently looking for book reviewers for upcoming issues. We have a number of books ready-to-go in the office on migration history, diaspora studies, and Arab identity. We're also open to suggestions from potential reviewers for new titles. 

    Is there a new title in your field of research you're wanting to read? Was it published in the last three years? Does it relate to migration studies, diaspora, and the Middle East and North African region? Contact the managing editor to find out if the book you want to review is appropriate for Mashriq & Mahjar and whether we can order it for you! Email the managing editor at mashriq_mahjar@ncsu.edu. 

    We're looking for single-title reviewers as well as those interested in writing a review essay that discusses three to four related works collectively. 

    Book reviews must conform to our guidelines and all potential reviewers must have already completed their doctoral degree. 

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  • Check Out Our Exciting New Content!

    2018-08-07

    Mashriq & Mahjar has been publishing exciting new content every two weeks for the past two months! Make sure to take a moment and look at our new releases ranging from bilingual research notes and review essays to research articles and book reviews. 

    Just like before, our content is open access and free to download. If you like our content, share our website among your colleagues, graduate students, faculty, and on social media. 

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  • First Release in New Format

    2018-06-12

    We're releasing the first article in our new rolling, continuous publication format this week! Stay tuned for new content published every few weeks ranging from articles and book reviews to research notes, conference reports, and multi-title review articles.

    Follow us on Twitter @MashriqMahjar for up-to-date information on our releases.

    Thanks for reading!

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  • New Publication Format for Mashriq & Mahjar!

    2018-05-15

    As of May 2018, Mashriq & Mahjar will begin operating under a continuous, or rolling, publication format. Starting this summer, we will release single items including book reviews, review articles, research articles, conference reports, and research notes every several weeks. Released content will be archived twice per year to create paginated issues. We hope this move will benefit both our readers and authors and permit us to share cutting-edge and timely scholarship with our readers. 

    Stay tuned for our upcoming publications!

     

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