Anne Irfan is a historian of the modern Middle East, specialising in migration and socio-political history in Palestine and the Levant. She has a BA(Hons) from Oxford University, and a Dual MA/MSc in International History from Columbia University and the LSE. More recently she spent a semester as a visiting research student at Columbia with the LSE Partnership Mobility programme.
Ms Irfan won the 2017 Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Best Essay on Jerusalem for her work, 'Is Jerusalem international or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181'. She has also spoken in the UK Parliament and at the UN Headquarters in New York about the situation of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.
"An International Palestine: UNRWA and Palestinian Nationalism in the Refugee Camps, 1967-82"
Her thesis looks at the history of the Palestinian refugee camps in the Levant in the years 1967-82, which constituted the zenith of the nationalist movement in exile. In particular, it examines the role of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has been responsible for administering the camps since 1950. The case study of UNRWA and the camps is used to investigate the bigger historical intersection between nationalism and internationalism in the twentieth century. The research is based on sources from a wide range of archives, including UNRWA’s own registry in Amman, the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut, and the UN Headquarters archive in New York.