Lori A Allen

I am a political anthropologist with particular interests in the history and politics of international law, liberalism, academic freedom, fascism, and Palestine. Formerly Reader in Anthropology at SOAS University of London, I am now Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, and an independent scholar, writer, and editor.

My award-winning first book, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2013), provides a ground-breaking ethnographic investigation of the Palestinian human rights world and offers a theory of cynicism for understanding contemporary politics. My award-winning second book, A History of False Hope: Investigative Commissions in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2020), analyzes a century of Palestinian engagement with fact-finding missions, illuminating the endemic flaws of international law.


Lori A Allen – CV



 Current Position

Editor, Allen Key Edits

2023 – Professorial Research Associate, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London

Previous Positions

2019 – 2023  Reader in Anthropology, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London
2011  Visiting Professor. March-April. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria.
2010 – 2014   Fellow, King’s College, University of Cambridge, UK
2007 – 2014   Lecturer in Contemporary Middle Eastern Society and Politics, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, UK

Fellowships and Awards since 2005

2023 Vinson Sutlive Book Prize, William and Mary College, 2023
2022 Honorable Mention, American Ethnological Society Senior Book Prize, 2021-22
2020 British Academy research grant
2017-18 Leverhulme Fellowship, UK
2016-17 British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, UK
2016-17 Member, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
2016-17 Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen/ Institute for Human Sciences Junior Research Fellowship, Vienna (awarded and declined)
2015 Palestinian American Research Center NEH/FPIRI Research Fellow (awarded and declined)
2014 The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine, Winner of the 2014 APLA Book Prize, sponsored by the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
2012-2013 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Early Career Fellowship, UK
2012-2013 Affiliate, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut
2012-2013 Cambridge Humanities Research Grant
2012 Newton Trust Small Research Grant, UK
2011 Thriplow Charitable Trust Research Grant, UK
2011 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant, UK
2011 Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Early Career Fellowship, Cambridge, UK
2010-2014 Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, UK
2010, 2011 Newton Trust Small Research Grant, UK
2009 Palestinian American Research Center, Research Fellowship
2009 Nuffield Foundation Small Research Grant, UK
2009 British Academy Small Research Grant, UK
2006-2007, Academy Scholar, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2005-2006 ICAS Fellowship, New York University (awarded and declined)
2006-2006 The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies Visiting Fellow, Notre Dame University (awarded and declined)
2005-2006 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University

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