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Melissa Gatter

Melissa Gatter

PhD candidate in Middle Eastern Studies


Melissa's current fieldwork explores the aspect of time and nostalgia in Azraq refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. She completed her MPhil at the University of Cambridge in Middle Eastern Studies in 2016, and her dissertation, "Remaking Childhood: Humanitarianism and Growing Up Syrian in Za'atari Refugee Camp", focused on notions of childhood and Syrianness in Jordan's largest refugee camp. Broadly, her ethnographic research has analyzed interactions between aid workers and refugees as a focal point for discussion on refugee identity and agency in temporary spaces. Melissa holds a BA from the University of Chicago in International Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Human Rights.

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests

Refugees, humanitarianism, and displacement, identity politics, and nationalism and national memory in the Arab world.


Key Publications

2018, February 22. “Rethinking the lessons from Za’tari refugee camp”. Forced Migration Review, 57: 22-24. 

2017, September 26. “Restoring childhood: humanitarianism and growing up Syrian in Za’tari refugee camp”. The Contemporary Levant, 2(2): 89-102.

2016, September 9. “Olympic Resilience: The 'Refugee Nation' Competes for a Place on the World's Stage”. Allegra Lab.