MESA 2010 Emerging female frontiers and entrenched socio-political boundaries in the Gulf States".(Submissions due by July 5th)

full name / name of organization: 
Stephanie Cate University of Alabama Huntsville and Annemarie Profanter Free University of Bolzano

We are presenting a special session at MESA 2010 in San Diego " Emerging female frontiers and entrenched socio-political boundaries in the Gulf States".
The rapidly shifting commercial and social policies relating to development, education and cultural identity have been impacted by transnational processes such IT and transportation changes contributing to the new "café society". Regionally and culturally specific delineations such as ; literary cafes, art cafes and informal public gender frontiers that cross those lines held up by neo-patriarchal structures enforcing gender segregation are continuing to evolve. They are one way to avoid the unbreakable rules set by the political systems that are based on historic patriarchal tribal traditions.

The nature of the research interest (the emergence of the cafe culture in the Arabian Gulf) has interdisciplinary application being of interest to: scholars of identity acquisition, social psychology, sociologists, ethnographers, ethnologists, network theorists, etc. The effect of civic unrest and changing civil rights for women over the last 20 years has combined to accelerate the liminal state of gender and gender relations in these post-oil, post-war societies. Although the laws, socio-political and economic structures and media rhetoric have remained male oriented and male dominant, through the growth of informal social organizations stemming from café society these entrenched ideologies and policies are being challenged.

Some of the themes of this session could include:
- Is changing social gathering arenas going to have an effect on the existing gender paradigm?
- In what way have these socio-economic entities helped to
- create more liminal gender identities/roles/relations How has the development of public cafes for women impacted the gender frontiers/boundaries/spaces?
- How has the civic tension relating to religion/ethnicity/gender
- Been reflected and or deflected by these public gathering sites.
- How have these cafes helped to further integrate the exchange of information due to widespread IT/WWW access?
- Do the cafes offer an opportunity to cross tribal, sect ( Shii'a/Sunni) and national lines?

The cross-disciplinarity of the panel will contribute to the depth of the themes being addressed. .
Please submit a 400 word abstract of your working paper to or