Call for Abstracts (CfA) for Book Chapters: South Asians in Southern Europe: Labour, Identity, and Desire

Reena Kukreja's picture

Call for abstracts for chapters for an edited volume on South Asian migrants from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in four Southern European countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece titled, South Asians in Southern Europe: Labour, Identity, and Desire. This edited collection is proposed for Routledge book series title, Routledge Series on Asian Diasporas, Migrations and Mobilities. To learn more about Routledge and the book series, see here:


The volume will be edited by Dr. Reena Kukreja, Global Development Studies, Queen’s University, Canada ( /


Book description and scope

This book focusses on a very specific group of migrants from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the four southern European countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece. The South Asian diaspora in these new “go-to” destination countries, while marked by the commonality of a geographic entity of the Indian subcontinent, is very diverse and distinct due to histories of colonial and postcolonial encounters, development strategies, and cultural, ethnic, and religious identity. While some undertake aspirational migration, for others, migration occurs within a larger political economy of neoliberalism, agrarian crisis, political and civil unrest, violence against ethnic or religious minorities and/ or climate change. The southern European countries share a number of characteristics, including history of emigration of its own citizens, and in recent years, the emergence of immigrant niches in their labour markets, politicisation of migration through the rise of populist anti-immigrant discourses, and the tightening of border controls. 


Majority of South Asian migrants in these countries consist of low class migrants, majority of whom come from rural origins and are young men. Because of restrictive immigration and labour migration policies, migrant illegality makes them vulnerable to labour exploitation and in creating barriers for obtaining regular status and securing rights. The book focusses on this group of migrants and their migrant experience. It examines how national, religious, ethnic, gender, and/or class differences shape differing outcomes in migration trajectories, livelihood strategies, inclusion in host communities, family reunification, and migrant subjectivity, to list a few. How do discourses of othering intersect with bordering regimes to force (re)imagining of labour, identity, desire, leisure, and family?


Against this backdrop, we seek original theoretical, empirical research-based, and policy-oriented papers that engage with current scholarly debates and examine from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, any of the thematic topics and subtopics listed below. We solicit previously unpublished or exclusively prepared for this volume articles. Chapters that use case studies or comparative studies are strongly encouraged. 


Chapter proposalsScholars, public intellectuals, and members of governmental and non-governmental organizations are invited to submit chapter proposals on the following topics related to (but not limited to): 


  1. Migration governance and labour regimes

Immigration regimes and South Asian migrants

Temporary labour migration, labour markets, and South Asian migrants

Bordering regimes, deportability, and migrant precarity

Migrant niche sectors and South Asian migrants

            Labour markets and labour governance 

            Family labour and immigration policies


  1. Migration strategies and experience 

            Transnational mobility and social mobility 

            Migration desire, networks of migration, and strategies of movement

            Temporariness versus settled migrants

            Ethnic support networks and (re)creation of community 

            Postcolonial identity and migrant encounters

            Comparative migration experience – challenges and patterns of interactions

            Leisure and adaptation

            Migrant agency, resistance, and /or alliance-building


  1. Identity and Belonging

Belonging and exclusion 

Politics of citizenship and inclusion

Migration and (re)imagining of masculine identities  

Sexuality and regulation of movement 

            Racism, xenophobia, ethnonationalism and the politics of othering

            Religion and migrant identity

Culture, identity, and assimilation

(re)negotiating cultural practices in alien spaces

Diaspora and identity 


  1. Family and Gender Relations

Remittances and family            

Left-behind families and coping mechanisms

Family reunification – opportunities and tensions

Children, familial relations, and generation clash 

Transnational gender relations and/or childrearing strategies

(Re)conceptualization of family and/or relationships


Submission process and deadlines

If you are interested in contributing, please submit an abstract of 500 words, a 200-word biographical note, and an updated CV addressed to Dr. Reena Kukreja at Please refer to “South Asian Labour Abstract” submission in the subject line. The abstract should state the research question addressed in the proposed chapter, outline the theoretical framework, state the chapter’s main argument, and provide a brief description of research methods. 


Deadline for abstract submission: 15 July 2021

Authors (those selected and not selected) will be notified by: 30 July 2021.


About the editor

Dr. Reena Kukreja is Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies, with cross appointments in the Department of Gender Studies and Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University, Canada. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. Her current work examines the intersections of political economy, masculinity, regimes of bordering and deportability, and religious fundamentalism on the lives of undocumented South Asian men in Greece. In the past, she has interrogated marriage migration of poor women within India – her forthcoming monograph, Why Would I Be Married Here? Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India (Cornell University Press) focusses on this gendered migration 

She has published in journals such as GeoforumGender & SocietyJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Men & Masculinities, Modern Asian Studies, and the Journal of Intercultural StudiesShe is a member of International Political Science Association (IPSA), American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA), and Royal Anthropological Institute, UK (RAI). 


Please feel free to contact the editor, Dr. Reena Kukreja with any questions at this email: