Call for Papers: CIRCUITS OF LABOUR, OBLIGATION, AND DEBT: International Labour Migrants, their Families, and the ‘Migration Industry’ in Nepal

Event Date: November 30, 2016


International Labour Migrants, their Families, and the ‘Migration Industry’ in Nepal

University of Oxford, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

13-14 March 2017


While over the last decade the international labour migration from Nepal has reached an unprecedented level, discussions of its impact on Nepali society have largely focused on economics, policy, and rights issues. Broader questions related to social issues, such as migration culture, and the brokerage of labour, the impact of international migration on gender and generational relations, and on the rise of ‘predatory’ institutions involved in ‘migration industry’, have not been sufficiently theorized. Furthermore, unlike research on the Nepali diaspora in general, in-depth research on transnational labour migrants to the Gulf States and Malaysia has been scarce because of methodological challenges associated with conducting research in these countries.

This workshop aims to bring together scholars who have worked on issues around labour migration from Nepal to the Global South and create a space for sharing research and discussing its further directions. We are particularly interested in papers exploring:

  • the long-term impact of labour migration on Nepali society including issues around gender (including masculinity/femininity), generation, and the family
  • the methodological approaches and challenges of working in the Gulf States or Malaysia, including on issues around migrants’ rights and their experiences in the destination countries
  • the political economy of the ‘migration industry’
  • transnational practices of connectedness between migrants and their families, including remittances, the use of social media, and new information and communication technologies.

We invite abstracts of no more than 350 words along with short bios to be submitted to by 30 November 2016.  Authors will be notified by 9 December.

In order to ensure fruitful discussion, each paper will be allocated a discussant, and all the papers will be pre-circulated among participants. We will expect all presenters to submit their papers by 13 February in order to give sufficient time to discussants to read and comment on the papers.

Unfortunately we have no budget to pay for people’s travel to Oxford, but we hope to be able to defray most of the cost of accommodation while here.

Organizing Committee:

Dr Ina Zharkevich, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ISCA, University of Oxford
Dr Krishna Adhikari, Research Fellow, ISCA, University of Oxford
Dr Bandita Sijapati, Research Director, Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility, Kathmandu


Contact Info

Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
c/o John Metz, Treasurer
1586 Rockhurst Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45255-2637

ANHS Kathmandu Research Center
54 Kantishree Marg, Baluwatar
Kathmandu, Nepal.