What is a Camp? Relations, regulation, and appropriation in spaces of long-term displacement

Thursday, March 27th, 10:00 am
Campus in Camps, Al Feneiq Center, (Dheisheh Refugee Camp)

When many people think of a refugee camp they imagine a collection of tents, hastily erected and soon to be removed. Few refugee camps conform to this image. Palestinian camps certainly do not. Looking at the Palestinian case, this talk explores the question: what is a refugee camp? And, more precisely, what is a camp over the long-term? The transformations that occur as people live over time in regulated, serviced, spaces of displacement require attention, both to understand humanitarian practice and procedure and to make sense of the experience of living in these conditions. To explore the complex reality of Palestinian refugee camps, I examine the categorical irregularities and spatial uncertainties that Palestinians and aid providers confront as they live their lives and plan services.
By: Ilana Feldman

Biographical note

Ilana Feldman is Associate Professor of Anthropology 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) and In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (Duke University, 2010; co-edited with Miriam Ticktin). Her current research traces the Palestinian experience with humanitarianism in the years since 1948, exploring both how this aid apparatus has shaped Palestinian social and political life and how the Palestinian experience has influenced the broader post-war humanitarian regime.