The Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait will hold its fourth Gulf Studies Symposium (GSS) on 15-17 March 2019. The GSS is a meeting of worldwide Gulf scholars and researchers held biennially in Kuwait. Each symposium is based on a particular scholarly theme that is timely both to the region and to the field of Gulf studies. The theme of the 2019 GSS is "The Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Production and Consumption Systems."
Call for Papers
The 2019 GSS will bring together regional and international scholars to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion on the inputs, processes, and outcomes of production and consumption systems within and across the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula (incorporating the GCC states, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen) in historical and contemporary contexts.
Production. The people, institutions, firms, and states within the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula are the participants in systems of production and in all sectors of industry. Historically, the region is better known for the first two sectors of industry: raw materials (pearls and oil) and manufacturing (carpets and dhows). A large amount of academic literature has been produced on these industries, including discussions of the people, the processes, the structures, and the products. Comparatively less literature has been produced on the topics of the tertiary and quaternary sectors of industry in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula: services. These services include education, tourism, retail, and computer services such as e-commerce platforms (souq.com, digikala, etc.).
Consumption. Consumption occurs at every stage of the production line and is deeply symbiotic - although not always synergistic - with the production process. The consumption of a product or service can be ephemeral, such as eating a local strawberry. It may be repetitive, such as looking at a piece of art or ordering supplies using an e-commerce platform. It may be long-lasting, such as the consumption of news, ideas, and education. Consumption may be unintentional, such as the subconscious mental registration of road advertisements or absorption of official narratives from public entities, or it may be a conscious choice of selecting product A over product B. Sites of consumption, with particular consideration to geographical location, may be fixed or mobile. The elements and results of production and consumption in turn produce the very experiences, communities and societies in which we live.
This symposium proposes an exploration of the systems of production and consumption in the various sectors of industry and will discuss how those systems are constructed, perpetuated, re-constructed, given meaning, develop agency and engagement, interact, and/or evolve over time. Questions such as the following are to encourage disciplinarily diverse submissions:
- Who are these producers, and how do they interact among themselves, what is their relationship to the system(s), and what is their relationship to consumers/society?
- Why is/was this good or service produced; how are/were the decisions made to initiate or participate in the production of this good or service?
- How are the geographies of production and consumption impacting individuals, communities, firms, societies, the state, and the very processes of production and consumption themselves?
- How has production or consumption changed over time, and how has that impacted various sectors of society?
- Who are these consumers, and how do they interact among themselves, what is their relationship to the system(s), and what is their relationship to producers/society?
These questions, among others, may serve as the point of departure for participants wishing to submit papers on (but not limited to) the following:
- People: social media influencers, expatriates, immigrants, locals, private educators, factory workers, tailors, journalists, restauranteurs, bankers and financiers, government officials and policy makers, soldiers, families and family networks, artists, young entrepreneurs, app developers, bakery owners, retail workers, students, management and administration, refugees, barbers, taxi drivers, domestic workers, etc.
- Industries: media (Zawya, Al-Jazeera), online platforms (Careem, Talabat), private education, hospitality and tourism, arms, entertainment, raw materials (oil), cryptocurrency, fashion and textiles, agriculture, real estate, health care, defense, manufacturing (ceramics), etc.
- Products: physical and intangible goods and services.
Instructions and Deadlines:
We encourage scholars to use diverse and innovative methods and conceptual approaches in their work, and to avoid submitting work previously published.
Submissions should be sent by e-mail to Shareefa Al-Adwani (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Center for Gulf Studies (email@example.com) by Thursday 18 October 2018. Please include your name, professional title, and institutional affiliation in the body, and attach your paper's title and 400-word abstract as a Word document. Abstracts should relate to the general symposium theme and give some indication of your position/argument, discipline, and methodology. Papers are reviewed blindly by a selection committee.
Deadline for abstract submissions: Thursday 18 October 2018
Notification of accepted abstract submissions: Wednesday 21 November 2018
Confirmation of participation: Wednesday 5 December 2018
Submission of full paper for circulation: Friday 1 March 2019
Arrival in Kuwait: Thursday 14 March 2019
Symposium: Friday 15 - Sunday 17 March 2019
Departure from Kuwait: Monday 18 March 2019
The CGS will cover the cost of airfare to and accommodation in Kuwait, as well as most daily meals.