“Houses of Horrors”: Ethiopian Female Domestic Workers in the MIddle East and Gulf States

Fassil  Demissie's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
November 20, 2015
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Human Rights, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (Routledge)

Call for Papers

“Houses of Horrors”: Ethiopian Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East and Gulf States

 

The Editors of African and Black Diaspora:  An International Journal (Routledge) announce a Call for Papers on “Houses of Horrors”: Ethiopian Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East and Gulf States”. 

In a video shot outside the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut in March 2012 ,  a 33 years old Ethiopian migrant domestic worker was savagely beaten and violently dragged by Ali Mahfouz’s into the back seat of a black BMW, while a chorus of men watched and no one intervened to help her. The video went viral after Alem who was a mother of two committed suicide by hanging herself using her bed sheets.[1] The abuse captured by the video in Beirut and the inhuman treatment that Ethiopian domestic workers receive elsewhere in the Middle East and Gulf States reflect what Cheryl Harris calls “racially contingent forms of property” born out of the social and material conditions of the region.

In the last two decades, the migration (both legal and clandestine) of Ethiopian female domestic workers to globalizing cities of the Middle East and Gulf States particularly, to Dubai,  Beirut, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Sana’a  and Cairo has increased dramatically because of the promise of globalization and neoliberal economic policies which ushered in increased free trade, deregulation and privatization. The migration of Ethiopian female domestic workers to the globalizing cities of the region is embedded in the specific patterns of globalization marked by temporariness and the contingent, precarious, unstable and violent nature of domestic work.  Pushed by poverty and destitution into the “Houses of Horror”, Ethiopian female domestic workers are policed by their employers, recruiting agencies and by the government regulatory agencies which reinforce their disposable position.      

The Editors seek contributions focusing on the intersection between domestic work and migration that interrogate the full dimension of Ethiopian female domestic workers’ experiences in the globalizing cities of the Middle East and Gulf States. In particular, contributors are encouraged to explore the political and economic dynamics of domestic work in the globalizing cities of the Middle East and Gulf States, the intersection of race, gender, class and national origin, the regulatory framework of domestic work, physical confinement in places of work as well as physical and sexual abuses and food denial as a disciplining strategy to regulate the lives of Ethiopian domestic workers,  resembling servitude and slavery.  Contributors should also explore the routes of human trafficking and smuggling, the situational vulnerability of female domestic workers, the exploitative nature of work and condition of work, with a particular reference of Ethiopian female domestic workers in the globalizing cities of the Middle East and Gulf States. 

We also seek contributions that explore the “hidden transcript” of Ethiopian domestic workers and the ways in which they resist the hegemony of the employers and the temporariness of their daily lives  by developing alternative informal networks as well as by establishing and connecting to online digital “communities” beyond the control of employers.  Authors  are  encouraged to  submit  incisive and original  writing  (conceptual,  empirical  or  theoretical)  that emphasize  the  narratives of  Ethiopian  domestic workers in the globalizing cities of the Middle East and Gulf States since the end of the 1980s.

Abstract should be 400‐500 words in length. Authors should send their abstract attached as a Word document to the Editors: Please be sure to include the following” full name, institutional affiliation, contact information (email and contact mailing address).

Deadline: Submission of Abstracts, January 30, 2016

Authors of accepted proposals will be notified  by February 28, 2016

Final paper (6,000‐8,000 words) must be submitted by August 30, 2016.

 

 

Dr. Fassil Demissie

Department of Public Policy

DePaul University

990 West Fullerton Ave, Suite 105

Chicago, IL 60615

fdemissi@depaul.edu

 

 

 

 

Dr. Sandra Jackson

Center for Black Diaspora

DePaul University

2320 N. Kenmore Ave, Suite 551

Chicago, IL 60614

sjackson@depaul.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] A. Khaled Beydoun, “When Suicide is the Only Escape,” Aljazeera, April, 09, 2012.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Fassil Demissie

Department of Public Policy, Suite 105

DePaul University,

Chicago, IL 60614


 

 

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