Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil, "The Gulf Migrant Archives in Kerala: Reading Borders and Belonging" (Oxford UP, 2024)


The Indian state of Kerala is one of the largest blocs of migrants in the oil economies of the Arab Gulf. 

Looking closely at the cultural archives produced by and on the Gulf migrants in Malayalam -- the predominant language of Kerala -- The Gulf Migrant Archives in Kerala: Reading Borders and Belonging (Oxford UP, 2024) takes stock of circular migration beyond its economics. It combines formal and thematic analyses of photographs, films, and literature with anthropological and historical details to offer a nuanced understanding of the construction of the Gulf and its translation to the cultural imaginary of Kerala. It explores the dissonance between the private and public discourses on the Gulf among migrants and non-migrants, and demonstrates the role of this disjuncture in the continued fascination for Gulf migrant lives. An enquiry into the various dimensions of the Gulf in Kerala, as an acknowledged means of living, as a rumour, an object of gossip, a public secret, or even a private thrill, this book debunks the idea of language as a common entity and studies the tentative borders built within. Finally, it explores the resources, possibilities, and perils of affiliative communities constructed along and across those borders.

Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil is Associate Professor at Manipal Centre for Humanities, a constituent unit of Manipal Academy of Higher Education. His PhD was in Cultural Studies from the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. He has numerous publications in academic and popular publications.

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