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Lauren Banko
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Lauren Banko is currently Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Department of History and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester. Her three year fellowship project is entitled ‘Medical Deportees: narrations and pathographies of health at the borders of Great Britain, Palestine, and Egypt, 1919-1949.’ She received her PhD from SOAS, London, and is a social historian of the 19th and 20th century Arab Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean with a focus on interwar colonialism and the mandates system, especially in Palestine. Her current monograph project examines clandestine, illicit, and undocumented transregional or transimperial migration by socio-economically precarious individuals into Palestine from the wider Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, and Central Asia during prior to the establishment of Israel, and the impacts upon migration as a result of colonial and postcolonial mobility control and documentary identity regimes. Lauren is part of the Reckoning with Refugeedom: Refugee Voices in Modern History collaboration, hosted at the University of Manchester, and is interested in developing the concept of ‘refugee-adjacency’ as it relates to persons directly close to refugees and the experience of refugeedom but who are not themselves displaced. Her fellowship focuses on the transregional and transimperial circulations of knowledge among refugees, displaced persons, and low waged labourers classified by immigration controls a medically undesirable. As part of this, the project is concerned with the ways in which these migrants, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa and who circulated to and across the British metropole, Palestine, and Egypt, understood and negotiated illnesses and border controls. It examines the medico-legal border during a time when imperial authorities accelerated the use of biopower as a tool to manage the mobility of colonial and postcolonial subjects.
Select publications:
-“The quiet violence of colonialism and the uncertainty of illegibility: affective encounters by the deportable between Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon,” Social History 47 (May 2022).
-“Border Transgressions, Border Controls: Mobility along Palestine’s Northern Frontier, 1930-1946,” in Regimes of Mobility: Borders and State Formation in the Middle East, 1918-1946, ed. Jordi Tejel and Ramazan Hakkı Öztan (Edinburgh University Press, 2022).
-“Grief, a wedding veil, and bureaucratic persecution: being refugee-adjacent in the aftermath of tragedy, 1941-1946,” Immigrants & Minorities 39 (2021).
-Banko, Lauren, Nowak, Katarzyna, and Gatrell, Peter, “What is Refugee History, Now?,” Journal of Global History (Fall/Winter 2021).
-Banko, Lauren, “Migrants, Residents, and the Cost of Illegal Home-Making in Mandate Palestine,” Jerusalem Quarterly 84 (Winter 2020).
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