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Research with/out responsibility: the role of Western academics in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon

posted on 2023-06-09, 08:17 authored by Anne Irfan
Western academic researchers’ long-running interest in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon reflects the latter’s historical centrality within diaspora politics. Fieldwork in the camps has intensified in the post-1982 period, while the Palestinians’ position in Lebanon has become increasingly marginalized. Drawing on the author’s own experiences in the camps, this paper probes the role and impact of Western academic researchers’ fieldwork there. It considers three main questions: how has the historical context driven and shaped researchers’ interests; how does the latter’s work affects the camp communities being studied; and finally, how can researchers reformulate their approaches so as to engage more positively and constructively with these communities? This paper concludes by arguing that much greater emphasis needs to be placed on building partnerships between researchers and camp communities, such that the latter can be an active participant in shaping how their own stories are told.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Towards engaged and responsible research: The case of the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon

Event location

Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut

Event type


Event date

5-6 May 2016

Department affiliated with

  • History Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • No

Legacy Posted Date


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