September 15, 2023

Gulf Women’s Lives: Voice, Space, Place

Gulf Women’s Lives: Voice, Space, Place

Interested authors are invited to submit abstracts to contribute chapters for inclusion in the edited collection "Gulf Women's Lives: Voice, Space, Place". This edited volume will consider Gulf women’s lives by looking at the interrelated fields of writing, gender, and the body, broadly defined. The submissions will emphasize embodiment, conflicts, resistance, agency, identity, disability, and other central notions as experienced in women’s lives and expressed in their narratives.

We intend to investigate how Gulf women negotiate spaces of dissent through their writing, and how their texts convey anti-patriarchy, counter-orientalism, postcolonial and decolonial discourses and discursive practices. By focusing on women’s narratives and productions, the volume will offer a critical perspective on how Gulf women construct themselves as gendered selves and authors, how they negotiate public and private spaces, and how they navigate the societal, cultural and religious restrictions imposed on them in the course of their narratives. As gendered selves, moreover, women authors invest their texts with inscriptions from their bodies, offering a critical and innovative perspective on everyday lives and experiences.

Rather than re-visiting the “Gulf woman” narrative, this volume considers various stories and articulations of narratives and counter-narratives. The narratives are multiple, multifaceted and resist the stereotype of oppressed ‘Gulf women.’ This volume addresses the question of “what is the Gulf woman story” by challenging the narrative - shifting the focus away from linearity and towards an exploration of the complex intricacies binding stories and selves. How do stories shape lives, and how do lives shape storytelling and selves? The process of selving is part of the themes of this book. Placing the self in its relational spectrum (such as the relation of the self to significant others, the body, the environment, and the collective) the volume will consider a wide range of narratives about Gulf women, including from disciplines as diverse as literature, sociology, gender studies, performance studies, cultural studies, oral history, communication and media studies, among others.

The volume is innovative in its transdisciplinary perspective over Gulf women’s experiences, its focus on everyday lives and depictions of women’s worlds, and its broad perspective of women’s expressions. As such, the volume aims to fill a gap in scholarly research.

The Edited Volume Seeks to Respond to the Following Questions

  • How do Gulf women express/write a room of their own: a physical and psychic space?
  • What are the writing journeys and reading journeys implicated in the process?
  • What are the risks associated with writing?
  • What does writing have to do with imaginaries and geographical spaces?
  • How does writing become a right in a patriarchal space?
  • How do individual voices/selves relate to the collective?

We are seeking contributions from practitioners, academics, established as well as junior scholars, journalists, and activists.

Topics May Include, but Are Not Limited To

  • Representations of Khaleeji women in literature: novels, short stories, poetry
  • The written and performed text: Khaleeji women’s theatre, cinema, documentaries
  • Spoken word poetry and its implications in the Gulf
  • Gulf women’s oral traditions, testimonies, and oral histories
  • Socio-political, economic, geographical, time and space contexts of Gulf women’s writing
  • Gulf women’s writing processes
  • Trauma and violence in Gulf women’s writing
  • Disability in Gulf women’s writing
  • Autoethnographies of Gulf women
  • Language, translingualism and hybridity in Gulf women’s writing
  • Television representations of Khaleeji women
  • Gulf women writers’ specific case studies
  • Blogging and social media by Gulf women
  • Biographical and autobiographical narratives of Khaleeji women
  • Censorship and self-censorship in Gulf women’s writing
  • Publics and reception of Gulf women writing
  • The politics and agency of Gulf women’s writing
  • Aesthetics and politics in Gulf women writing
  • Arab women writers as a counter-canon to Western literature
  • Gulf women as knowledge producers and consumers
  • Decolonial representations in Gulf women’s expressions

Abstracts Submission

Detailed 500 to 750-word abstracts should conform to the 7th edition of the APA style manual. They should outline the research topic as well as the theoretical and methodological approach. All abstracts will be subject to double blind peer review. A short bio should be included.

Deadline for abstract submission: September 15, 2021

Submit via email to all of the editors at the following address:


Notification About Acceptance of Abstracts: October 2021

Submission of full papers: 28 February 2022

Editor’s Bios

Emanuela Buscemi holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and teaches at the University of Monterrey (Mexico). She previously taught at the American University of Kuwait. Her research interests include alternative social movements, informal activism and resistance, identity and gender politics, performance, agency and belonging in the Arabian Gulf and Latin America. Her work has been featured in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Contemporary Social Science, About Gender-International Journal of Gender Studies, Democratization, as well as in edited volumes published by New York University Press, Routledge, Peter Lang and Palgrave MacMillan. She is the co-author of the edited volume Everyday Youth Practices in the Gulf Peninsula: Changes and Challenges (Routledge, 2020).

Shahd Alshammari holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Kent (UK) and teaches at Gulf University for Science and Technology (Kuwait). Her research interests include illness narratives, Disability Studies, Arab women’s literature, and media representation of illness. Her work has been featured in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Life Writing, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Arab Media and Society, and others. She is the author of Notes on the Flesh (Faraxa, 2017) and Head Above Water (Neem Tree Press, 2022). Her creative writing has been featured in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, Joao Roque Literary Journal, Sukoon Magazine, and others.

Ildiko Kaposi is a social scientist whose work focuses on issues of democracy from the perspective of media and communication. She holds a PhD in political science from Central European University, Budapest, and she has studied the roles of the press and internet in fostering participation in emerging or transitioning democracies in post-communist Europe and the Middle East. Employing mainly qualitative methods, she specialises in in-depth explorations of the intersections of democratic principles and their interpretations in specific social, legal, political, and cultural contexts. She is assistant professor at the Department of Mass Communication and Media of the Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, where she teaches media law.

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