Manami Goto



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Department: Arab and Islamic Studies
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Gulf Studies and Centre for Islamic Archaeology

Manami Goto obtained her BA in Law from Seikei University in Tokyo in 2011 and MA in Gulf Studies at Qatar University in 2015. She is currently studying for her PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies with a doctoral studentship from the Centre for Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter. Her thesis is entitled, “Voices of the Masked: Material Culture, Identity, and Agency in the Gulf”, which investigates the links between the socio-cultural identities of women in the Persian Gulf region and the role of the face mask by focusing on three main aspects: the symbolic meanings of the mask’s material features, women’s agency towards veiling, and the impact of national narratives. For her PhD research, she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on both sides of the Persian Gulf including interviewing more than 250 women in Arabic and Persian. This research is supervised by Prof. Christine Robins, Dr. John P. Cooper, and Dr. James Onley. 

Manami is currently teaching a module on Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, which builds upon her previous experience in the Gulf Studies Centre at Qatar University (April 2016) and in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates (February-March 2018), where she was a visiting researcher.

Her main areas of interest are dress, material culture, oral history, and the rituals of women in the Persian Gulf. Her master’s thesis also focused on generational changes in the traditional attire of Qatari women, which was explored from an anthropological perspective.

Before starting her postgraduate studies, Manami also completed the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Programme at Qatar University (2012-2013), and the Arabic Language Unit at Kuwait University (2011-2012). Additionally, as part of her PhD field research, she studied Persian at the Dhkhoda Lexicon Institute at the University of Tehran in Iran (2016). As a result, she has mastered modern standard Arabic and also some Gulf dialects and is near fluent in modern standard Persian. By living in the Gulf states and Iran for five years and travelling to 69 countries, many of which are in the Middle East, she has had opportunities to develop an in-depth knowledge of the region’s socio-politics, culture, religion and languages.