Carpi Estella

Estella Carpi (PhD) is a social anthropologist primarily concerned with the way in which societies respond to conflict-induced displacement and humanitarian assistance provision in the Arab Levant and Turkey. Her work also revolves around welfare, identity politics in crisis-stricken settings, and analytical approaches to sport and play activities in NGO programming.

Estella is presently a Research Associate in the Migration Research Unit (Department of Geography) at University College London, where she works on Southern-led responses to displacement from Syria in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. In 2016, she was awarded the "Mobility, Displacement, and Forced Migration in the Middle East" research grant from the Centre for International and Regional Studies (Georgetown University-Qatar), to undertake a study on the border politics of livelihoods in southern Turkey and northern Lebanon.

Estella has lectured extensively in Arabic and Islamic Studies (Università degli Studi di Milano and the University of New South Wales), in the Sociology of Human Rights, Social Protest, and Social Inequality (University of Sydney), and in Humanitarian Studies (University of Turin, Lebanese University in Beirut and Istanbul 29 Mayis Üniversitesi).

After studying Arabic in Milan and Damascus (2002-2008), she worked in several academic and research institutions in the Middle Eastern region, such as the New York University of Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Trends Research and Advisory (UAE), UN-Habitat Lebanon, the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon Support, UNDP-Egypt (Cairo), and the International Development Research Centre (Cairo).


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Humanitarian Studies: An interdisciplinary approach
Humanitarian Action in Conflict Processes
This module will illustrate the practical impact of humanitarian assistance provision on the areas and the subjects of intervention, and the way in which aid can provide a deeper understanding of conflict and social responses to conflict.
Neutrality and Impartiality in Conflict Processes
The class will be given a framework to understand the key roles of neutrality and impartiality - the traditional humanitarian principles - in paving the way to peace or fuelling different forms of conflict. The module will also provide the students with examples of identity bias and political marginalisation in humanitarian settings - such as the practices of Faith-Based Organisations, considered ill-placed to guarantee neutrality.
Humanitarianism, development, and security
This module will provide the students with an understanding of forced migrations in relation to the maintenance of political order and security. An explanation of how the humanitarian system is based on a labelling order will be provided with the purpose of clarifying the humanitarianism, development, and security nexus.



Anthropology of the Middle East
This course, composed of 3 modules, explores the anthropology of Middle Eastern societies. It considers a variety of socio-cultural forms and life experiences in the Middle East and examine debates, approaches, and challenges that anthropologists generally deal with when they study the region. Even though the course does not cover all of the Middle Eastern societies and themes, it provides students with the critical tools to investigate other aspects of life in the Middle East


Understanding migration and humanitarian affairs
Students will first familiarise with the migration regimes across different geographic areas and their socio-political implications. They will also become able to analyse migration and crisis-stricken settings and recognise their socio-cultural specificities. They will be provided with the analytical skills to understand the key roles of neutrality and impartiality – the traditional humanitarian principles – in humanitarian programming. They will also know how to identify different cultures of aid provision. The 9-hour course will provide students with substantial theoretical and practical knowledge to work in (non)academic research, aid, migration and welfare settings. The exemplification of theory through two research studies will make them able to identify different forms and environments of assistance, such as urban versus rural, as well as variegated models of service provision cutting across the Global South-Global North binary.


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