[P4815] Gendering Migration & Transnationalizing Gender in the Middle East & North Africa

Created by Elizabeth Saylor
Monday, 11/20/17 8:00am


This panel on gender and migration brings together interdisciplinary perspectives across geographies and temporal periods. As globalization, technological innovation, and political conflicts dramatically increase the flow of people and resources across national boundaries, Transnational Migration Studies has emerged as an area of academic inquiry with the potential to re-calibrate current modes of research. Among the questions this panel asks are the following: How can we gender our analyses of migration? How can we transnationalize gender studies in the MENA region by incorporating a lens of migration and movement? How does the fluid concept of 'gender' travel amidst the complex processes of de- and re-territorialization, proliferating border zones, and increasingly complex interconnections between homeland and diaspora? The participants on this panel bring together historiography, cultural studies, anthropology, and digital humanities to address these questions.

The first paper on this panel presents a digital humanities project that reconstructs an as-yet-unexamined transnational genealogy of women writers in the diaspora (mahjar), radically transforming our understanding of the Arabic cultural renaissance, or the nah?a. The second paper presents a study of women in the South American region of the mahjar, and the philanthropy networks that they cultivated. The third paper examines European immigration to Egypt and explores the ways that male foreign capitalists and their families shaped notions of masculinity and Egyptian national identity during the first half of the twentieth century. Finally, the fourth paper focuses on the complexities of identity construction and cultural negotiation among Turkish male migrants in Germany through an examination of leisure practices of a predominantly Muslim immigrant community. With the comments of a fifth participating discussant, we place these projects into conversation with one another in order to productively engage the specific challenges faced by scholars of gender and migration in the MENA region and its diasporas. We will also discuss the advantages and limitations of using gender as a framework for evaluating and theorizing transnational networks, migration, and cultural flows. Ranging in geographic focus from Egypt, to Turkey, to the United States, to South America, these four presentations represent an alternative discourse to the stress on fixity and compartmentalization that has long characterized area studies. From ethnographic fieldwork, to archival research, to the construction of digital humanities and digital history projects, the panel also presents a body of scholarly research that has been executed through diverse methodologies.


Moise Khayarallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies






Stacy Fahrenthold

(California State University Stanislaus)
My research focuses on the migration of Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian Arabs from the Ottoman Empire in the twentieth century's first decades, and examines how Arab migrants impacted the politics of their homeland from abroad. My first book (forthcoming...
Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;

Elizabeth Saylor

(Middlebury College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Annalise DeVries

(Samford University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Lily Balloffet

(Western Carolina University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Oguz Alyanak

(Washington University in St. Louis)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;