Here’s a bit about my summer activities so far. To make a long story short, I was invited to come give a pair of presentations/lectures at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, which is commonly referred to as Sciences Po. It’s a highly selective public institution of higher education in Paris, and they have a fairly substantial number of researchers who are focused on issues in the Middle East. On my first day there, I joined a handful of other scholars in a small workshop entitled Social Change and Migration in the Gulf Monarchies. Collectively, these papers sought to explore how the societies and states of the GCC have been shaped and altered by the scale of labor migration there, and included excellent papers by Hélène Thiollet and Neha Vora, both old friends of mine, and also by Philippe Fargues, Sylvaine Camelin, and Amélie Le Renard. The paper I presented, A Portrait of Low Income Migrants in Qatar, provided an overview of the findings of our recent survey of labor migrants in Qatar. The presentation almost perfectly coincided with the publication of the study’s first article in the Journal of Arabian Studies.
In addition to participating in the workshop, I was also invited to deliver a public lecture the following day. The paper I gave at that presentation, entitled Migration, Urban Space, and the Shape of the Contemporary Gulf City, presents some of my newer research, and in essence distills many of the ideas and themes that I intend to explore in the new manuscript I’ll begin working on this Fall. Aside from the benefits of running through this new material in a public venue, I was lucky that this lecture was attended by several noteworthy luminary French scholars who have a substantial research history in the Middle East. I definitely benefitted from their advice.
After I concluded my presentations in Paris, we traveled to see friends in Italy, and then we ventured down to the Croatian coast. We’re off to Venice later today, and then back to Tacoma on Wednesday.