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RSC Seminar, 18 October 2022

RSC Public Seminar Series, Michaelmas term 2022

About the speakers

Cory Rodgers is an anthropologist exploring the influence of humanitarian and development policies on communal identity and inter-group relations. His current research in Kenya and Lebanon looks at humanitarian strategies to promote social cohesion between refugees and local communities living in contexts of protracted displacement. Since 2015, he has worked primarily in Turkana County in northwestern Kenya, the site of the decades-old Kakuma refugee camp, where he has documented the politicisation of a ‘host community’ identity among Kenyans living in the vicinity of the camp. His doctoral project was an ethnography of the ways that urban development in Turkana have given rise to intra-ethnic schisms between the growing town-based populations and the rural majority of mobile pastoralists.

Watfa Najdi is an architect, urban planner, and researcher. Her work focuses on the intersection between urban and refugee studies, in particular refugee mobility, livelihoods, and socioeconomic integration in urban areas. Watfa is the Lebanon Research Coordinator for the Refugee-Led Organizations Project at the Centre for Lebanese Studies and the project coordinator at the Refugee Research and Policy Program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (AUB). She has conducted and contributed to research projects on social cohesion and communal relations between refugees and host communities, refugee shelter programs and HLP rights, as well as refugee entrepreneurship and digital livelihoods.

Photo credit: Pastoralists from the local Turkana community stroll through a market at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. @ Asrat Tolossa