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Anne Irfan


Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration

Anne Irfan is Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration at the Refugee Studies Centre. She holds a Dual Master’s Degree from Columbia University and the LSE and a PhD from the LSE, where she wrote her doctoral thesis on the historical role of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Palestinian refugee camps. She previously taught at the University of Sussex and the LSE, and is an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Anne’s research interests include global refugee history, UNRWA and Palestinian refugees, forced migration in the Middle East, the spatiality of refugee camps, and archival suppression. She is currently Principal Investigator on the British Academy-funded research project Borders, Global Governance and the Refugee, examining the historical origins of the global refugee regime. In recent years, she has spoken at the UK Parliament in Westminster, and the UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva about the functions of the UNRWA regime and the exclusions facing Palestinian refugees from Syria.

Anne’s work has been published in the Journal of Refugee Studies, Contemporary Levant, Journal of Palestine StudiesJerusalem Quarterly and Forced Migration Review, as well as media outlets The Washington Post and The Conversation. She won the 2020 Contemporary Levant Best Paper Prize for her article ‘Petitioning for Palestine: Refugee appeals to international authorities’; the 2020 Alixa Naff Migration Studies Best Article Prize for ‘Educating Palestinian refugees: The origins of UNRWA’s unique schooling system’ (co-winner); and the 2017 Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Best Essay on Jerusalem for ‘Is Jerusalem international or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181’ (co-winner). Her first book, an international political history of Palestinian refugees, is forthcoming with Columbia University Press.

Recent publications

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