Matthew DeMaio

Matthew DeMaio
[email protected]


Program: Anthropology Ph.D. 

Year of Entry: Fall 2017

Advisor: Ilana Feldman

Current Research

I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in urban space, displacement, encampment and identity. Specifically, my research explores the intersection of place, identity, memory and belonging among refugees experiencing multiple iterations of forced displacement. My dissertation project analyzes these topics by tracing the historical and contemporary experiences of the displaced former residents of the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria. My project mixes ethnographic research among former Yarmouk residents living in Lebanon, Jordan, Europe and the United States with archival research aimed at tracing the history of Yarmouk from its foundation through the present day.


M.A. (Palestine Studies) 2016, SOAS, University of London

B.A. (Islamic Civilizations and Societies) 2013, Boston College


2021 DeMaio, Matthew. 2021. “Lenticular Research and the Possibilities of Digital Archival Methods.” Anthropology News website, July 30, 2021. 2019 DeMaio, Matthew.

2019. “Yarmouk was a City, not a Camp”: Palestinians from Syria Confront an Unfamiliar Meaning of Palestinianness in Lebanon’s Refugee Camps.” American Ethnologist website, March 17, 2019.