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Ilana Feldman
George Washington University (Washington, DC 20052-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 5/31/2017

Palestinian Refugees and the Humanitarian Experience, 1948-Present

This project explores Palestinian refugee experiences living with humanitarian assistance. It is based on archival research covering more than 65 years (1948-present) and 5 humanitarian fields (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, and Gaza Strip) and more than 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank. This study is the first comprehensive account of the Palestinian experience with humanitarianism across this full time and space. It is one of few studies of humanitarian action that gives close attention to the experiences of both providers and recipients. Research on humanitarianism has highlighted how aid interventions can constrain refugees. But these constraints are not the only humanitarian effects. My project investigates the humanitarian politics of living--how people survive, strive, and act within humanitarian spaces. It also investigates the dynamics of long-term humanitarianism, as focus shifts from crises to chronic conditions of need.