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Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Ms Rasha Chatta

BA (Paris), MA (London)


Rasha Chatta
Ms Rasha Chatta
Email address:
Thesis title:
Marginality and Individuation in Literary Discourse: Theorising Contemporary Migrant Literature through the Example of Arab Migrant Writing
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


After two years in preparatory classes to the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Khâgne moderne- humanities) and a BA in History from the Sorbonne in Paris, I completed an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies (social anthropology, literature, Arabic) at SOAS. I then worked as the Community Outreach director at the Resettlement Legal Aid Project for refugees in Egypt before coming back to SOAS to start on my PhD project.

My research interests are: literary theory, comparative literature, migrant literature, world literature, francophone literatures, modern and contemporary Arabic literature, diaspora literature, transnational studies, marginality and individuation in literary discourse, postcolonial studies.

I have been a teaching assistant in the Near and Middle East department since 2011. In 2014 I lectured on Arab Cinemas in the Centre for Media and Film Studies.

PhD Research

My doctoral research deals with the theoretical issues arising from the problematic field of migrant literature, through the specific practices peculiar to the contemporary novel written by Arab migrant writers. It attempts at delineating a definition of migrant literature by tackling notions of identity, individuation and marginality beyond national parameters. My project therefore represents an intervention in the multidisciplinary field of Migrant Studies and Migrant Literature as it takes it away from a monothematic focus on migration and rather focuses on the relation between peripatetic modes of existence, space, language and the individual agency.

PhD Publications

Book chapters
  • Chatta, R. “Mutations of the Trans-Migrare: Reflections on the Aesthetics of Individuation and un-Homing on the Other Side of Belonging” in Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, Forthcoming)
  • Chatta, R. “Love in the in-between world in Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati’s poetry”, in Atef Alshaer (ed.) The Poetry of Love in Middle Eastern Literatures. (London and New-York: Hurst & Co and Colombia University Press, Forthcoming)
Articles in peer reviewed journals
  • Chatta, R. “Silence and the City: The Migrant Writer as the Mapmaker of Cartographic Anxieties.” Special issue Atlantic Studies: Global Currents (London: Routledge, forthcoming)
  • Chatta, R. “Marginality and individuation: toward a literary critical approach to migrant literature.” Special issue: “Migration”. Middle Eastern Literatures (London: Routledge, forthcoming)

PhD Conferences

Conference/workshop/panel organisation
  • Panel convenor. Title: “The In-between 'National': Literary Networks between the Arab World and the Americas”. BRISMES Annual Conference. University of Sussex, Brighton, 16-18 June 2014
  • Conference co-organiser. Title: “Critical Methods Beyond Eurocentrism” First Annual Postgraduate Conference of the Centre for Cultural, Literary, and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) SOAS, University of London, 14 June 2013
  • Workshop Assistant. Title: “Approaches to World Literature: Questions of Critical Methods Beyond Eurocentrism”. SOAS, University of London, June 2011
  • Co-organising Officer and Conference Assistant. Title: “The Translation of Modern Arabic Literature into European Languages" ALECSO/CCLPS SOAS, University of London, 30 Nov-03 Dec 2010
Conference presentations
  • “Tout ce qu’on ne voyait pas”: On the Agency of Voice in the National Imaginary of Arab Migrant Writers in Quebec. British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Annual Conference: “The Middle East in Global Perspective: Interactions Across Time and Space”.
    University of Sussex, 16-18 June 2014 
  • Silence and the City: The Migrant Writer as the Mapmaker of Cartographic Anxieties. American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Conference: “Capitals” New York University, 20-23 March 2014
  • Mutations of the Trans-Migrare: Reflections on the Aesthetics of Individuation and un-Homing on the Other Side of Belonging. ITN CoHaB: “Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging” Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität- Münster, 22-24 September 2013
  • Marginality and Individuation: Toward a Literary Critical Approach to Migrant Literature. British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) XIII Triennial Conference: “Migration”. University of Essex, 8-11 July 2013
  • Reading Otherness in the World: Global French and Arab Migrant Writing in Quebec. CCLPS First Annual Postgraduate Conference, SOAS, University of London, 14 June 2013
  • World Literature and the Question of the National. Colloquium “World Literature and the World of Literature” University of Copenhagen, 16-17 May 2013
  • Considerations toward a critical remapping of the field of Migrant Literature through the example of Arab migrant writing. BCLA Graduate Reception. Senate House, University of London, 21 March 2013
  • Re-examining the National between Migrant Literature and World Literature. “World literature” conference series, SOAS (London)/University of California (Santa Barbara)/INALCO (Paris)/NYU (Abu Dhabi), 13-15 December 2012.