Dina R. Khoury
- The George Washington University
The rebellious city: popular politics in the Middle East in the age of crisis and reform, 1770s-1830s
Who is a Migrant Laborer? Documenting Labor Migration in the Persian Gulf
The second half of the nineteenth century marked the integration of the Persian Gulf into global networks in which flows of capital, people, and liberal discourses on freedom of markets played a significant part in both the regulation of labor and claims to subjects by competing empires and national states. The unfolding of this story took place in a region with a history of indigenous forms of capitalist development, labor practices, and understandings of mobility. This study maps the recruitment and documentation of the migration of bonded, servile, and contract labor from East Africa, South Asia, and the Persian Gulf region across the borderlands of southern Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It asks how the regulation and documentation of such migrations transformed understandings of bondage and freedom, as well as notions of imperial subjecthood and, after the 1920s, of nationality.