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Dr Estella Carpi
Room 40
IRDR - Gower Street, 2nd Floor
South Wing UCL Main Quadrangle
Dr Estella Carpi profile picture
  • Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies
  • Inst for Risk & Disaster Reduction
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

As a social anthropologist, I love doing research in places that have been part of my life. Over the last decade, I mainly focused on social responses to conflict-induced humanitarian assistance in the Levant and Turkey. More broadly, my academic work has revolved around identity politics in crisis-affected settings, anthropology of the state and humanitarianism, and the overlapping of welfare and emergency relief.

I am currently a 2020-25 Global Young Academy Member, where I co-lead the At-Risk Scholars Initiative and I actively participate in the Harmonising Reason with Sensibility Group.

In 2016, I 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 politics of urban livelihoods in the border economies of Southeastern Turkey and Northern Lebanon.

I also have a background in Linguistic Anthropology, having obtained an MPhil in the everyday speech in Lebanon (2007), in which I explored how the individual's political and social identity is related to code-switching and code-mixing in Lebanon's multilingual settings.

My second book, The Politics of Crisis-Making. Forced Displacement and Cultures of Assistance in Lebanon, will be published with Indiana University Press in Spring 2023.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Between 2016 and 2017, I have conducted research on urban humanitarianism in Lebanon and Turkey as a Research Associate in the Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL and as a Humanitarian Affairs Advisor at Save the Children UK. Between 2017 and early 2022 I have worked as a Research Associate in a research project focusing on 'Southern' responses to displacement from Syria in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and funded by the European Research Council in the Migration Research Unit, Department of Geography (UCL). During these years, I have mainly worked on the assistance provided by Syrian refugee faith leaders and other faith-inspired forms of support to the displaced from Syria.

Between February 2021 and February 2022, I have been a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Koc Universitesi in Istanbul, Turkey.

In the past, I have conducted extensive research on humanitarian assistance, forced migration, and chronic forms of economic and political vulnerability (Lebanon and Syria); social protection nets, poverty, and welfare (Egypt); family law and women's parity (Morocco); service provision, statehood, and political order (UAE); and education in human displacement (Jordan).

After studying Arabic in Milan and Damascus (2002-2008), I 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).

Teaching Summary

I am a Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies at the Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction at UCL.

I am also an Adjunct Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies and Anthropology of the Middle East at Alta Scuola di Economia e Relazioni Internazionali, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan (Italy). 

I have held lecturing positions in Conflict Analysis at Universita' degli Studi di Pisa (Italy) in the course of Peace Studies, and in Humanitarian Studies at Universita' degli Studi di Torino (Italy) in the course of Political Sciences during 2017-18. 

I have also been a teaching assistant and casual lecturer in the following undergraduate and postgraduate units of study:

Introduction to Sociology; Human Rights and Social Protest; Social Inequality; the Middle East and the International Law; Arabic and Islamic studies.

I have delivered guest lectures on humanitarianism primarily in Australia, Italy, Turkey, and Lebanon.

I am particularly interested in supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on issues involving identity politics, humanitarianism, and development in the Middle Eastern region, Turkey, and Brazil.

01-APR-2022 Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction University College London, United Kingdom
18-SEP-2017 – 31-MAR-2022 Research Associate Geography University College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2016 – 30-JUL-2017 Research Associate Bartlett Development Planning Unit University College London, United Kingdom
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