Lydia Wilson

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Lydia Wilson is a research fellow at the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; senior fellow and field director at Artis International; and a visiting scholar at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, the Graduate Center, City University New York.

She graduated with a BA in Natural Sciences, an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science, and a PhD in medieval Arabic philosophy, all from the University of Cambridge. During a postdoctoral research position in 2011, also at Cambridge, Lydia joined Artis International, starting with fieldwork in Northern Iraq. Work with Artis continued during a Mellon Fellowship at the Graduate Center, City University New York, and the founding of CRIC; fieldwork sites expanded to Lebanon and Northern Ireland (as well as continuing the work in Iraq), and responsibilities expanded to mentoring and training younger field workers. As well as her academic publications, Lydia writes for the Times Literary Supplement (on both medieval and modern Middle Eastern studies), the Nation, Nautilus, Rain Taxi, open democracy and others, and edits the Cambridge Literary Review (

Forthcoming academic publications include a contribution to a book on “living with armed groups”, about working with the PKK in northern Iraq, and articles on the reasons females travel from Western countries to join the Islamic State.

Research with ARTIS includes regular fieldwork in the Middle East, currently concentrating on the situation in Lebanon and Iraq. Research techniques draw on psychology and anthropology and also include a historical context. Lydia provides data from acutely distressed regions considered inaccessible by some researchers, improving the ability of ARTIS to understand crisis zones in the both in the short and long terms. As part of this development in ARTIS capabilities, she mentors current and future fieldworkers in various and varied environments to build up ARTIS presence and expertise around the world.