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Elizabeth Dunn

Associate Professor
SB 112, (812) 856-3708

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1999
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1993
  • B.A., University of Rochester, 1991

Region(S) of Interest

Research Topics

  • Refugees, Internally Displaced People, and Forced Migration
  • Conflict
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Postsocialism

Research Summary

My current research focuses on humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced people.  I am particularly interested in the problem of protracted displacement, and why humanitarian aid may prevent displaced people from resettlement for decades or generations.   My forthcoming book, Unsettled: Humanitarianism and Displacement in the Republic of Georgia is based on long-term fieldwork with people who were ethnically cleansed by Russia in 2008.

A second focus of my work is on food aid and food systems.   In the past, I have worked on the global regulation of food safety.   Some of my work focuses on food aid and other ways people obtain, prepare, and find meaning in food during armed conflict. 

Geographically, my work focuses on Europe and the former USSR.   I’ve conducted field research in Georgia, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, and Germany.

My research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the International Research and Exchanges Board.  My work has appeared in scholarly journals including Antipode, American Ethnologist, and Humanity.   I have also written for public media, including Boston Review, Slate, and Iowa Review, and had my work featured in Science magazine.

Representative Publications