Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNorthwestern U.
Grant numberGr. 9756
Approve DateOctober 24, 2018
Project TitleFarhang, Foroogh, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'The Travelling Dead: Syrians in Lebanon and the Political Economy of a Proper Death,' supervised by Dr. Jessica Winegar
FOROOGH FARHANG, then a graduate student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in October 2018 to aid research on ‘The Travelling Dead: Syrians in Lebanon and the Political Economy of a Proper Death,’ supervised by Dr. Jessica Winegar. Funding supported eight months of ethnographic fieldwork (September 2019-May 2020) in and around Beirut, north, and east of Lebanon. The project investigates the political-economic and the ethical dimensions of Syrians’ quests for a proper burial in Lebanon in years following the 2011 mass migration of Syrians to the country. It looks at the ways in which the scarcity of burial spaces in Lebanon, in conjunction with increasing restrictions on crossing the Lebanon-Syria border, have mobilized networks of Syrians’ traveling dead within the borders of Lebanon and on the route from Lebanon to Syria. This project ultimately explores the shifting conceptions of life, death, ethics, and geography in the face of war and displacement, while tracing the alternative and lesser-recognized ways that displaced communities heal and survive. In so doing, it gets at the core of how communities suddenly brought together relate to one another, beyond the national, religious, sociopolitical, and legal boundaries, in Lebanon and elsewhere.