Visiting Scholars and Fellows

Recent CBRL Visiting Research Fellows

Dr Michael G. Brown, Dr Dena Freeman,   Suzanne Morrison, Dr Hector M. Patmore, Dr Edmund Thomas, Eduard Reitenbach, Hanan ToukanVictoria Biggs, Sean Leatherbury

Current and past affiliated research projects

Conflict in Cities and the Contested State - Prof. Wendy Pullan (Cambridge University)
Excavations at Khirbet el Mafjar, Jericho -  Dr Mahmoud Hawari (Birzeit University and University of Oxford)
Perceptions of democratization in the Arab-Mediterranean world -  Dr Michelle Pace (Birmingham University)
Restoration of the Dome of the Rock -  Prof. Beatrice St Laurent (Bridgewater State College, USA)
Statebuilding as Exclusion: (Re-)Defining Palestine -  Dr Mandy Turner (University of Bradford)
Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History -  Dr Karma Nabulsi (University of Oxford)
Tel Zahara Excavations -  Prof. Susan Cohen (Montana State University, USA)
Tel Jezreel Post-Excavation and Publication Project - Dr Charlotte Whiting (CBRL Honorary Fellow)

Current Research Fellows and Scholars


Jamie Allinson 

CBRL Senior Visiting Research Fellow  

Jamie Allinson's research interests lie in the intersection of the politics of Middle East states, International Relations theory and global historical sociology. His book The Struggle for the State in Jordan: The Social Origins of Alliances in the Middle East will be published by IB Tauris in December 2015. His current research investigates counter-revolution as concept and practice in international politics, with particular reference to the Arab world since 2011.



Piotr Jacobsson

CBRL Visiting Research Fellow (

Piotr is an archaeologist specializing in the Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates – a process that makes it possible to use 14C determinations to derive accurate estimates of the timing and duration of events and processes, such as the onset of activity in a given location, or the time elapsed between two occupation periods. During his CBRL scholarship, Piotr will be evaluating the potential of the published 14C evidence for evaluating the synchronicity of changes in the earlier stages of the Neolithic, with a special focus on the chronological relationship between Cyprus and the south-west Asian mainland. The project will also involve the identification of the key technical challenges for the improvement of Neolithic chronologies and the development of further dating projects. Piotr holds a Scottish MA and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and he did a PhD on the radiocarbon wiggle-match dating technique at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC). His other research interests include the role of statistics within archaeology and the epistemology of archaeological inference. 


Gabrielle Varghese (Akkas)
CBRL Visiting Research Fellow (

Gabriel Varghese completed his PhD at the University of Exeter, looking at the history of Palestinian theatre in the West Bank after the first intifada. He holds degrees in Arabic and Middle Eastern history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and in dramaturgy from Goldsmiths. His research is interdisciplinary: applied theatre practices in sites of conflict; space and spatiality in theatre and performance; and colonial abjection, activist theatres and counterpublic formation. He is also a theatre director and has served as the co-artistic director of Sandpit Arts, an award-winning non-profit cross-arts organisation producing theatre, film and music festivals related to the Middle East and North Africa.

Reema Salha Fadda


Reema Salha Fadda
CBRL Visiting Research Scholar (

Reema Salha Fadda is a DPhil candidate in Oriental Studies at The University of Oxford, working on the political economy of cultural intervention in Palestine and Jordan.  Her research focuses on the role of international and regional cultural development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the context of an increasingly neoliberal global arts economy, and the role of cultural practices as a site of resistance to challenge the political hegemony of Israeli occupation.  Reema holds a Masters from the School of Oriental and African Studies in Cultural Studies and a Scottish Masters from The University of Edinburgh in English Literature.  Before completing her DPhil, Reema worked as a cultural practitioner between Palestine, Cairo and London working at both the Arts Council England for over five years and in 2012 the Palestine Festival of Literature in Gaza.  Reema is also a freelance writer on cultural politics across the MENA region. Her CBRL Scholarship is split between the British Institute in Amman and the Kenyon Institute.

Fiona Wright

CBRL Visiting Research Fellow 

Fiona Wright is an anthropologist interested in activism and dissent and their relations to hegemonic politics. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014, having conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Israel/Palestine. She is currently working on a book on the ethics and politics of Jewish Israeli left-wing activism, exploring the ambivalences of ethical relationships between Jewish Israeli activists and the 'others' of the Israeli state with whom they seek to work in solidarity, and the nature and forms of politics that arise from these interactions. Her research interests include the anthropology of social movements, humanitarianism, medicine, and kinship, and psychoanalytic, feminist and phenomenological theory.

Nora Parr
CBRL Visiting Research Fellow

Nora Parr works in the fields of Arabic Literature and Palestine Studies, her research interests fall at the intersection of aesthetics, epistemics, and cultural studies. She is completing her PhD at SOAS (University of London), on paradigms of the national in Palestinian fiction. Her work explores structures of thought through the study of genre, in particular the novel and news media. At SOAS she taught on Modern Arabic and Palestinian Literature, Nationalism in the Middle East, and in Critical Perspectives in Palestine Studies. She worked as the Managing Editor for the journal of Middle Eastern Literatures,is a consulting editor for the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and has also served as outreach editor for Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network (2014), and as editor and staff writer for the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency (2008-11). Her first article, "Unbounded space: inter-textual Palestine in Ibrahim Nasrallah’s Balcony of Delirium" was published in August 2015 for a special issue journal following the 2013 British Comparative Literature Association conference.

Emilio Distretti
CBRL Visiting Research Fellow
Emilio Distretti holds a PhD in Aesthetics and Politics of Representation from the School of Art and Design, Portsmouth. His Research interests are multidisciplinary and have a strong emphasis on new materialism, comparative colonial histories, geography and theories of space. Emilio's current research explores representation and transformation of deserts as colonial spaces. His work investigates two case studies of desert colonization and their cultural and historical convergences around the dream to "make the desert bloom": Fascist Italy colonization of the northern Sahara in Libya and the Zionist colonization of the Negev. Emilio is the head of the Urban Studies and Spatial Practices programme at Bard College, Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, where he teaches since summer 2015.



Micaela Sinibaldi

CBRL Visiting Research Fellow

Micaela Sinibaldi is a medieval archaeologist specialising in the material culture of the Middle East. For her current CBRL fellowship, she is researching the subject of Islamic period pottery in Petra, its role in understanding settlement in the region and its chronologically significant aspects. This phase of research follows her work on comparative studies on several Islamic period assemblages and on the development of a local chronology based on both typological and scientific analysis and stratigraphy.The project aims at contributing to bridge an important gap, both chronological (the one concerning the later historical periods in Petra), and territorial (the one concerning the significance of the connection of the Petra Valley with its hinterland and neighboring regions).

Micaela holds a PhD from Cardiff University, where she submitted a thesis entitled Settlement in Crusader Transjordan, 1100-1189 (2014); she has been a post-doctoral fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany (2014/2015). She currently directs the CBRL-affiliated Islamic Bayda Project in Petra and has recently co-edited the volume Crusader Landscapes in the Medieval Levant: the Archaeology and History of the Latin East (2016).