SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Ms Rasha Chatta

BA (Sorbonne, Paris), MA (SOAS, University of London)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Rasha Chatta
Ms Rasha Chatta
Email address:
Thesis title:
Marginality and Individuation: A Theoretical Approach to Abla Farhoud and Arab Migrant Literature
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 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.

I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant (2011-14) and a Teaching Fellow (2014-15) in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East. In 2014, I lectured on Arab Cinemas in the Centre for Media and Film Studies.

I am currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East.

PhD Research

This study offers a critical intervention in the field of migrant literature. It starts by dealing with the theoretical issues unique to the history of the field and its methodological reach by delineating how the contemporary literature written by migrant authors has been approached in a social-scientific manner, thereby undermining and blinkering its literary and critical aesthetic dimensions.

The first part delineates the foundational steps of the field of migration studies since post-World War Two. In laying out how the field came to be institutionalised, it attempts to underline its various disciplinary complexities pertaining to issues of methodology, theoretical conceptualisation, and analytical scope. It continues to demonstrate how national imaginaries and linguistic national canonical impulses have participated in relegating this body of literature to the margins or the marginal. Migrant literature immediately calls upon a sense of plurality or multiplicity, as implied by titles of works on Migrant Literature. The study offers for a focus the case of Arab migrant literature in Quebec, and in particular, on the literary works of Abla Farhoud. Through the close reading of her works and an examination of the relation between peripatetic modes of existence, space, language, memory, and individual agency, the second part demonstrates the possibility of an aesthetic of the migrant literary impulse by tackling notions of identity, individuation and marginality beyond national parameters.


Book chapters
  • Chatta, Rasha (2015) 'Mutations of the Trans-Migrare: Reflections on Individuation and Un-Homing on the Other Side of Belonging.' In: Kläger, F. and Stierstorfer, K. (eds.), Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 53–69.

Encyclopaedia entries
  • The Literary Encyclopedia (2015): “Wajdi Mouawad”; “Le Bonheur a la queue glissante”; “Incendies”


Conference/workshop/panel organisation:

  • Panel convenor and chair. Title: “Disturbing Crossings: Untranslatability and the Languages of Crossing Borders”. ICLA XXIst Congress. University of Vienna, Austria, 21-27 July 2016
  • Co-organiser of book launch and panel discussion of Dr. A. El-Desouky’s The Intellectual and the People in Egyptian Literature and Culture: Amāra and the 2011 Revolution. SOAS, University of London, 21 May 2015
  • 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:

  •  Disambiguating the Tricolore: Language, Literature, Nation and French Global”. International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA/AILC) XXIst Congress. University of Vienna, Austria, 21-27 July 2016
  • Poetics of the Glocal in contemporary Arab Migrant Literature”. Session on “Global Arab Texts and their Publics”- Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention 2016, University of Texas at Austin, USA, 7-10 January 2016
  • “Thematic Mints: on the Aesthetics of Migrant Literature Between Production and Circulation”. Invited talk at the conference “Writing (for) the Market: Narratives of Global Economy”. University of Munich, Germany, 25-27 June 2015
  • “The Exilic Imperative: (Un)Homing and (Un)Belonging in Migrant and Diasporic Literatures”. Seminar and panel discussion at the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS), SOAS, University of London, 4 February 2015
  • “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.


  • ACLA
  • BCLA
  • MLA
  • PSA


  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (2011-14) and Teaching Fellow (2014-15), Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
  • Senior Teaching Fellow (2015-), Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East


Literary theory, comparative literature, migrant literature, world literature, francophone literatures, modern and contemporary Arabic literature, Arab-Québécois literature, diaspora literature, transnational studies, marginality and individuation in literary discourse, postcolonial studies.