Diana Allan

Canada Research Chair in Anthropology of Living Archives

Tier 2 - 2021-06-01
McGill University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research summary

The Nakba Archive is an oral history collective established in Lebanon in 2002 by Dr. Diana Allan. Since its inception, the archive has recorded more than 650 video interviews with first-generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon about their lives in Palestine and the events that led to their displacement. These eyewitness narratives paint a picture of social and cultural life in Palestine before 1948 along with relations with neighbouring Jewish communities, the 1948 expulsion, the early years of exile and more.

As Canada Research Chair in Anthropology of Living Archives, Allan is conducting a systematic study of the collection as a living archive, documenting al-Nakba ("the catastrophe") as not only a historical event, but an ongoing process. Through this study, she and her research team are exploring the potential of refugee narratives to alter our notions of sovereignty, territoriality and redress in this era of settler-colonial reparations.