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Researcher / Research team

Wenona Giles


Department of Anthropology

Deputy Director, Centre for Refugee Studies

Many years ago, after living, studying and working in Iran (my birthplace), as well as the UK ( first citizenship), Canada (second citizenship), France, Italy, the USA, Niger, and Burkina Faso, I was drawn to social anthropology as a scholarly discipline that I thought might be able to ask and possibly begin to answer questions about the poverty and other social inequalities that I had witnessed in Africa and the Middle East; the tenacious neo-colonial and unequal gender relations that persisted in international aid & development organizations; and the politics of migration in Europe and Canada. These early questions led me to subsequent research on the gender relations of militarized violence; and most recently to studies of long-term exile in refugee camps in the global South.

I am now a Professor in the Anthropology Department of the Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies (LA&PS) at York University. I teach in the Anthropology Undergraduate Program and I also supervise and advise graduate students in the following Graduate Programs at York University: Anthropology; Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies; Health Studies; Philosophy; Political Science; Development Studies; and Interdisciplinary Studies. See “Students”

Most of my research at York University since 1993 has been housed in the Centre for Refugee Studies, including the. Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) project that
I am co-leading (with Professor Don Dippo, Faculty of Education). It is located in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya.





Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work and Sales and service occupations - general

Geographical focuses


Spheres of activity

Anthropology and Gender and sexuality studies