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This research explores the strategies taken by aid agencies to provide emergency housing for refugees, especially since the European crisis of 2015. The research includes a project called Architectures of Displacement, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council between 2016 and 2019. This project brought together experts in forced displacement, archaeology, anthropology, and architecture to study refugee shelter across six countries, and resulted in an edited book published by Berghahn Press entitled Structures of Protection? Rethinking Refugee Shelter , an exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum (entitled Lande), and a feature length documentary film (entitled Shelter Without Shelter). Tom Scott-Smith is currently writing a monograph expanding on the fieldwork conducted across Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Germany and France in 2016–18, provisionally entitled Fragments of Shelter. An article indicating some of the themes from this book was published in American Ethnologist in 2019, entitled ‘Beyond the Boxes: Refugee Shelter and the Humanitarian Politics of Life’.


  • Tom Scott-Smith
    Tom Scott-Smith

    RSC Director; Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration

Selected publications