Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Effects, Political Claims, and Palestinian Refugee Community
A lecture by Ilana Feldman, George Washington University
Published: Friday, April 29, 2011
This talk considers the effects of more than sixty years of living in a humanitarian order on Palestinian community and political life. Drawing on research in the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] archives in Amman and on ethnographic fieldwork in the Jerash refugee camp in Jordan, I explore what happens as humanitarianism moves from crisis response to a condition of life. How are people and communities shaped by this transformation and by living – long-term – in a humanitarian condition? Considering the experience of a particular group of people who have been twice-displaced – refugees to Gaza in 1948 and then displaced to Jordan in 1967 – I investigate the politics of life in a humanitarian space.
Ilana Feldman is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University. Professor Feldman received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in 2002. She has an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and a BA from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. From 2004-07 she was Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow and Director of Graduate Studies for the Near Eastern Studies Program at NYU. Prior to that she was a Mellon Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Lecturer in Anthropology at Columbia University from 2002-04. Professor Feldman has done extensive ethnographic and archival research in Gaza and the West Bank, Cairo, London, as well in the United States.
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