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School of Law

Humanitarian Predicaments: Protracted Displacement and Palestinian Refugee Politics

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15 May 2019

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Room 313, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

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Palestinian refugees have lived in displacement, and with humanitarian assistance, for seventy years. Drawing on archival and ethnographic research, this talk considers refugee lives and politics across the length and much of the breadth of Palestinian exile. The talk focus on the geography of near displacement—Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, the five fields of United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] operations in the Middle East. It explores the intersecting, but not identical, experiences of both providers and recipients. And its tracks both the politics of humanitarianism—how it shapes subjects, alters societies, and enforces or disrupts geopolitical inequities—and politics in humanitarianism—how people living inside this system seek to change their circumstances, make claims of various kinds, and lead their lives in ways in which they and their community see value.

Speaker Bio

Ilana Feldman is Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67 (Duke University Press, 2008), Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule (Stanford University Press, 2015), Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics (University of California Press, 2018); and co-editor (with Miriam Ticktin) of In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (Duke University Press, 2010).