Situating Iraq in Oxford: Reflections on identity, place, and justice

Hassoun, Mariam

In this essay, I explore the relevance of Eve Tuck’s theorization of damage-centered research and Scheper-Hughes’ activist anthropology to my positionality in my research on displaced Iraqis’ navigational access to education. The work of Tuck (2009) and Scheper-Hughes (1995) shows us that our assumptions regarding our research participants influence the way we research, which in turn have real life impacts. As an Iraqi person, issues of representation through research and subsequent responses to social ills are rooted in family history and thus are deeply personal and urgent. The historical marginalization of Iraqi voices, both those of researchers and the researched, can be redressed by foregrounding qualitative studies in lived experiences which acknowledge Iraqis’ dignity and agency. I call for a decolonized methodology and ethics which surpasses traditional expectations of academic work and moves towards a proactive, human-centered ethos.


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August 29, 2022


Marginalized Voices, Positionality, Decolonization, Iraq, Displacement, Post-conflict Education