MFA Thesis Advising 2019: Rabeya Khatoon

I am so proud of Rabeya Khatoon for passing her MFA Oral Thesis Defense this week. Her project “Whirling Hybrids: A Dichotomy Of Belonging” involved creating a series of hybridized spinning tops infused with sensory materials to celebrate Qatar’s diverse cultures. It was an honor to engage with such a wonderful group of people around a project dedicated to belongingness across cultures and nationalities. A quote that beautifully captures the spirit of Rabeya’s work comes from Ijeoma Umebinyuo, who writes:

“So, here you are too foreign for home, too foreign for here. Never enough for both.”


Thesis Title: Whirling Hybrids: A Dichotomy Of Belonging by Rabeya Khatoon.

Abstract: Migration is a phenomenon wherein individuals relocate from one country to another, albeit temporarily or permanently, for numerous reasons. The State of Qatar is a highly diverse nation with a large population of foreign residents. According to Priya D’Souza, as of 2017, 60 percent of the resident population in Qatar are from South Asia. Growing up in this environment, third culture kids develop a unique, hybrid culture through experiencing multiple cultures. This research investigates a dichotomy of belonging from the perspective of South Asians in Qatar. A series of hybridized spinning tops were produced in collaboration with a South Asian artisan. These hybridized artifacts are infused with sensory materials in order to elicit an emotive response, engage memory, and celebrate the merging of diverse cultures.

First Advisor: Diane C Derr
Second Advisor: Denielle J Emans
Third Advisor: Levi Hammett
Reader: Dr. Sean Roberts

Read the full thesis document at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/etd/5892/