Literature and Emigration from the Gulf States (GCC)

deadline for submissions: 
March 2, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Priya Menon/ Troy University
contact email: 

MLA 2020 convention; Special Session

Toronto, 7–10 January 2021

Since the ‘oil-boom’ of the 1970s, the six-member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have employed a large expatriate labor force, primarily from neighboring South Asian Countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Philippines (nearly half of the total population of these Gulf states are expatriates). Such mass emigration has not only allowed for the rapid economic expansion of these Gulf countries but at the same time, they have produced a number of cultural and socio-economic consequences for the countries from where the Gulf’s primary workforces originate.  This panel welcomes papers about any aspect of emigration to the Gulf States apropos literarture. Paper proposals connecting Gulf emigration to the MLA 21 presidential theme “Persistence” are especially welcome. Some of the potential topics include but are not limited to:

• human rights in the Gulf,
• politics of migration and citizenship in the Gulf,
• notions of home, hyphenation, and hybridity in Gulf emigration,
• complexities of first/second/ third generation Gulf-diaspora,
• ‘Global’ Universities in the Gulf,
Kafala system and Nitaqat Law, and ‘structural violence’ related to Gulf migration,
• representations of Gulf diaspora in literature,
• migrant Gulf literature as activism,
• pedagogy/teaching gulf emigration

By March 2, please submit a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Priya Menon at