Reflections on two weeks of humanitarianism, historiography, research, and collaboration… and the creation of lasting friendships

Ryan W. Heyden

As historians have engaged in a widespread and heated discussion about the history of human rights and its relationship to contemporary political and social developments around the world, many have also turned to humanitarianism. With new and protracted conflicts raging in the Middle East and other parts of the world, and with the growing number of natural disasters caused by a rapidly changing climate, humanitarian workers and organizations are busier than ever before. And yet, the scholarly literature on humanitarianism and the labours of humanitarian workers since the 1700s was, until the last decade or so, focussed mainly on humanitarian aid delivered to various sites of conflict after the end of the Cold War. Political scientists were the primary researchers pushing this field of humanitarian studies. Continue reading

Talk by Markus Geisser, International Committee of the Red Cross

“The present is never present – it is already past. Humanitarian action in an age of reorder”
– Markus Geisser, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross
Monday 9 July 2018

For anyone who missed the talk given by Markus we are able to share a video and take this opportunity to thank Markus again for the event.

Video

 

A new Team Member – Welcome Poppy

I’m excited to have joined the Care for the Future team as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the summer of 2018. I’ll be working with Professor Andrew Thompson on the project ‘Afterlives of Empire: Thinking Forward Through an Imperial Past’. This is a project which speaks to my own research interests, focusing on decolonisation and the post-colonial relationship between Britain and Kenya. This is explored in my first book Kenya and Britain after Independence: Beyond Neo-Colonialism (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). I’m especially interested in the continuities which persist through the moment of independence, and the way that ‘imperial’ assumptions continue to shape relationships long after independence. However, I also argue that the relationship between Britain and Kenya was not a simple neo-colonial relationship where the British could dictate; rather, that the Kenyan elite shaped this at least as much as the British.

I’m looking forward to broadening my focus beyond Africa, and to doing more research on human rights and humanitarianism. I have previously done research into business, military, and political relations, but focusing on NGOs and humanitarian organisations will be a new experience. I’ll be doing some of the archival research for the project, and one of my first tasks is to visit the British Council of Churches archives to explore their activities linked to decolonisation.

Prior to joining the team, I’ve been working as a Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge since 2015, teaching mostly African History and World History. Before that, I completed my PhD at Durham University in 2015.

Talk by Markus Geisser, International Committee of the Red Cross

“The present is never present – it is already past. Humanitarian action in an age of reorder”
– Markus Geisser, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross
Monday 9 July 2018

17:45 – 19:55 BST

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
Queen Street
Exeter
EX4 3RX

AHRC Care for the Future, in partership with the University of Exeter, invite you to join us for an evening with Markus Geisser, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Markus will be talking about his work with the International Committee of the Red Cross – a career that has seen him travel the globe and influence the development of humanitarian aid policy. Continue reading

Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2018

Academy Leaders:

Fabian Klose ( Leibniz Institute of European History )
Johannes Paulmann ( Leibniz Institute of European History )
Andrew Thompson ( University of Exeter )
in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva)

The international GLOBAL HUMANITARIANISM RESEARCH ACADEMY (GHRA) offers research training to advanced PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy addresses early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

The academic session at Mainz and Exeter is each year followed by a one week archival session at Geneva. Here the archives of the ICRC offer a unique insight into humanitarian action during the past 150 years. The holdings provide rich material, including visual material, for the history of international affairs in the ages of nation states, empires and global governance, particularly the study of humanitarianism, humanitarian law, conflicts studies as well as related issues such as human rights. Under the guidance of the experienced staff from the archive, the members of the Research Academy will study primary sources related to the previous discussions at Exeter as well as to their own research projects if applicable. Opportunities will also be provided for intensive discussions with active members of the ICRC staff and other Geneva based humanitarian organisations.

Following the Research Academy, the participants will each write an entry for the Online Atlas on the History of Humanitarianism and Human Rights which is jointly published by the Leibniz Institute of European History and the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter as part of the GHRA.

   

Past Matters, Research Futures: A Care for the Future ECR Conference

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Past Matters, Research Futures
A Conference for Early Career Researchers
Royal Society, London, 12-13 December 2016


Check out the Storify summary of our Evening panel event: https://storify.com/eventamplifier/past-matters-research-futures

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Our evening event for the ‘Past Matters, Research Futures’ conference will focus on heritage, research collaboration, and early career research paths. Starting at 5:30pm on Monday 12 December we’ll host a ‘Question Time’-style panel that will be tweeted – so join us for discussion at #PastMatters. Continue reading

Empires of Emptiness: What the past tells us about desert warfare in the Sahara – at a time when it is being fought

Dr Berny Sèbe
Senior Lecturer in Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies
Principal investigator of the ‘Outposts of Conquest’ project (www.birmingham.ac.uk/empires)

Empires of Emptiness: What the past tells us about desert warfare in the Sahara – at a time when it is being fought

When it comes to fighting jihadists in the desert, forget about the buzzwords now commonly associated with radical Islam elsewhere: social networks, internet recruitment or online propaganda. Of course, cybercafes are not entirely absent, even in the most remote oases, so cyber-recruitment and e-propaganda are not entirely irrelevant, but there are more important aspects to the picture to be taken into account when it comes to war in the desert. Continue reading

Call for Proposals: Care for the Future Early Career Researcher Conference

Call for Proposals: Care for the Future Early Career Researcher Conference

Past Matters, Research Futures

Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2016
Further information can be found in the call document: Care for the Future ECR Conference call document June 2016

Past Matters, Research Futures will take place at the Royal Society, London, 12-13 December 2016 and will showcase the exciting research conducted by Early Career Researchers (ECRs) related to Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, one of four strategic research themes supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). ECRs are represented in the theme in a variety of ways, and are recognised as playing a key role in its development, dynamism and legacy.  Continue reading