InTransitTalk ‘Dubai: the Migrant Imaginings of a Cosmopolitan World’
Date: January 8, 2018
Location: A4, Alserkal Avenue
It’s a salient fact that Dubai is a migrants’ city, one of trade, commerce and relentless mobility; the Indian state of Kerala contributes the largest ethnic group within Dubai’s foreign population. Nisha Mathew’s research maps the cosmopolitan world that Malayalis have been able to define and contour with Dubai at its axis. This InTransitTalk combines scholarly studies with the worlds of the traveller and the artist to tell stories of Dubai that are yet to be heard. Nisha Mathew’s first public talk in the UAE is introduced by UAE writer and editor Ahmad Makia.
Nisha Mathew is Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in History from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where her research explored the methodological possibilities of Indian Ocean studies in the making of a contemporary urban space as Dubai.
She is currently working on her book manuscript on Dubai, highlighting the ways in which the city, along with Bombay and Malabar in the western Indian Ocean, shares aspects of an urbanity built around gold and its distinct value regimes in the 20th century. Her publications include At the Crossroads of Empire and Nation-State: Partition, Gold Smuggling and Port Cities in the Western Indian Ocean (Modern Asian Studies, forthcoming), Between Kerala and the Gulf: History, Culture and Identity in the Making of the Transnational Malayali (Tapasam, forthcoming), and 21st Century Dubai: Suspicious Modernity or Alternate Urban History (Multiple Modernities, forthcoming).