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Digital Pre-Panel I “Governing Humanitarianism – Past, Present and Future”

In preparation for the Herrenhausen Conference “Governing Humanitarianism” in 2022, two online pre-panels will take place on September 27 and 28. Scholars from various disciplines and practitioners in humanitarian sectors are invited to join this years’ online event.

In the last two decades, humanitarianism and human rights have crystallized as two flourishing fields of research within various disciplines. Both concepts have been the subject of a lively international debate among political scientists, legal scholars, and historians, concerning their respective histories, nature, and impacts. Humanitarianism and human rights are often presented as opposing terms, and sometimes even as rival concepts, by scholars advocates on both sides. Such definitions typically present humanitarianism as resting upon a discourse of charity and suffering, while human rights are based on a discourse of solidarity and justice. Yet despite their differences, both concepts also share some similar historical origins and developments. Perhaps most importantly, both embody entangled notions of humanity. Despite the academic efforts to draw clear line between them, the boundaries between aid, relief, and rights remain both blurred and complicated.

The main goal of this digital panel is to discuss this complex relationship from various disciplinary perspectives. Rather than highlighting the differences between humanitarianism and human rights, leading experts from political science, international law, and international history will focus on the manifold overlaps and links between the two fields. When and how did these concepts compete and reinforce each other? In what ways did the emergence of humanitarian norms influence and contribute to the global emergence of international human rights law? What entanglements, dilemmas, and tensions emerge out of various competing concepts of humanitarianism and global human rights? And finally, how does this entwined history influence our landscape of international politics and crisis management today?

The digital panel “Human Rights and Humanitarianism – a Complicated Relationship?” is part of the Herrenhausen Conference “Governing Humanitarianism – Past, Present and Future,” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

A link to join the discussions will be published on the Volkswagen Foundation website at the beginning of September 2021. This digital pre-panel as part of the upcoming 2022 Herrenhausen Conference on “Human Rights and Humanitarianism – a Complicated Relationship?” will be held on 27 September 2021, 3:30-5pm. More information, including panel participants and bios, registration, and conference details can be found on the conference website.

Talk on Mennonites, Canada, and the founding of Disabled People International on October 1st

Henry Enns (left) and Jim Derksen (right), DPI First Assembly, Singapore, 1981.

The Carleton University Disability Research Group (CUDRG) is pleased to announce an upcoming talk by member Dr. Ryan Patterson, “Transnational Representation: MCC Canada and the founding of Disabled Peoples’ International, 1981”. The talk will be held online along with two others as part of the MCC@100 Conference panel “MCC as Incubator and Catalyst” on Friday, October 1st, 2021, 7pm-9pm. Attendees are asked to register (free) here

Based on participant interviews and archival research, this talk will explore how, in 1981, the Winnipeg-based Mennonite Central Committee of Canada (MCCC) became pivotal to the founding of the worldwide non-profit Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI). Along with material funding, the MCCC offered contacts and credibility in the non-profit world and, most importantly, sustained support for talented individuals at the heart of the early DPI. 

Dr. Patterson has also published an article on this subject, available on the CUDRG website: “Transnational Representation” (Carleton University Disability Research Group, open access, February 2020). 

Canada postage stamp issued in May 1980 in recognition of the upcoming Fourteenth World Congress of Rehabilitation International planned for June in Winnipeg.

“Rooted in History: Representations of Ethiopian Identities in Canada” Public Lecture-Nassisse Solomon

Supervisor: Prof. Stephanie Bangarth

Committee:

Prof. Robert Wardhaugh, Department of History
Prof. Nina Reid-Maroney, Department of History, Huron University College
Prof. Erica Lawson, Undergraduate Chair – Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
Prof. Michele Johnson, Associate Dean, Student – York University – Department of History

Chair: Prof. Michael Boffa, Department of Biochemistry

Please join us in supporting PhD Candidate, Nassisse Solomon, at her public lecture.

Date: July 28, 2021

Public Lecture: 10:00 AM, Remote via Zoom
https://westernuniversity.zoom.us/j/94928561048

Western University Event Calendar

http://www.events.westernu.ca/events/western/2021-07/public-lecture-nassisse-solomon.html

CNHH’s Seventh Annual Meeting Goes Virtual

by Anna Kozlova

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Network of Humanitarian History’s (CNHH) seventh annual meeting was held virtually through the video conferencing platform Zoom. The virtual format of this year’s meeting resulted in a record high turnout with a number of overseas partners joining the meeting, demonstrating one of the rare benefits of the pandemic.

This was noted during the planning for the Canadian Historical Association’s (CHA) 2022 conference, where the goal is to have an Africa-centred panel as there has never been an area-focused panel focusing on development aid and humanitarianism in Africa. Organizers of the panel are considering the possibility of having a partially virtual format as that would allow for greater participation.

In spite of the pandemic, the past year has been a productive one for CNHH members. During the meeting, updates were provided on two MITACS-funded projects, Two case studies in the public history of international development policies in Canada: the Lebanese Special Measures Program (1975-1990) and The Life of Lewis Perinbam (1925-2008) and Micro-Histories of Transnational Humanitarian Aid: Co-Creation of Knowledge, Policy, and Education Materials. David Webster, Professor of History at Bishop’s University, talked about the digital initiatives that he is involved in which include launching a website inquiry on the history of Canadian development assistance, the Timor-Leste International Solidarity Archive and History Beyond Borders, which publishes e-dossiers on international history. Dominique Marshall, Professor of History at Carleton University, talked about her continued work with Archival Rescue on which is she working with alongside Hunter McGill, Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, and Chris Trainor, Head Archivist at Carleton University.

Digital media was central to a lot of the discussions that took place during the meeting. Dominique has recently collaborated with Nicolas Lépine, an Associate Professor of History at Lakehead University on Recipro – a collaborative teaching website, meanwhile, Jill undertook the important role of overhauling and modernizing CNHH’s website, which is currently seeking blog contributions.

In terms of future projects, suggestions for a larger, more comprehensive project that explores the history of Canadian development efforts and a project focusing on visual histories were discussed. Under normal circumstances, CNHH tries to partner with local NGOs from the region where the annual meeting is being held, however, with the current remote environment, any NGOs, regardless of their location, are welcome to collaborate. Sarah Glassford, an archivist at the University of Windsor, talked about the value of establishing connections with NGOs as these connections often become long-term partnerships.

This meeting served as a wonderful example of the ability to productively adapt to the turbulent times we are currently living in. Throughout the discussions taking place at this meeting, CNHH members demonstrated the many ways that our current remote and digital environment has helped to eradicate some barriers to participation and collaboration, bringing the development community closer together.

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Anna Kozlova is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Carleton University. She was the lead researcher on the MITACS-funded project “Two case studies in the public history of international development policies in Canada: the Lebanese Special Measures Program (1975-1990) and The Life of Lewis Perinbam (1925-2008).”

The Disaster Lab

The Disaster Lab is a historical research project headed by CNHH member Laura Madokoro. The project explores the history of disasters and interrogates the role of migration and citizenship in how state and civil society actors have responded in times of strife.

Building on the Canadian Disaster Database maintained by Public Safety Canada, this project explores how disasters have been perceived, defined and addressed historically by the federal government in Canada while also considering the lived experience of disasters through the eyes of the communities, humanitarians, civil society actors and rescuers who shaped the short and long-term responses to tragedy.

Inspired by very real climate change crisis confronting our global community, and the prospect of hundreds of thousands of environmental refugees in the coming years, this project seeks to learn and better understand historic responses to disasters at the local, provincial, federal and global levels.

Supported by an Early Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario (2021 – 2026), this project invites a dialogue among scholars and communities interested in understanding the impact of disasters historically and how we might reflect upon our current and future circumstances.

The project will be launching soon. Details will soon be on the project’s official website.

Reimagining Humanitarianism in an Age of Global Solidarity

Interrogating Power Structures in Aid and Multilateral Institutions 

Thursday, 8 July 2021 

12.00-17.30 (Irish Time) 

Online, via Zoom 

What does it mean to embody a lived approach to global solidarity and equal partnership in humanitarian action and advocacy? This workshop, organised by Dóchas and the School of History & Philosophy at NUI Galway, brings together leading voices from the worlds of professional humanitarianism, diplomacy, activism and academia in conversation on three key areas: human rights, multilateralism and the climate crisis. The workshop is funded by the Irish Research Council (New Foundations grant).

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Hugo Slim (University of Oxford) 
  • Sonja Hyland (Political Director, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) 
  • Bulelani Mfaco (MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland) 
  • Tara Rao (Our Ground Works) 
  • Nishanie Jayamaha (Programme Co-ordinator, Climate and Environment Change and Civil Society Space, International Council of Voluntary Agencies) 
  • Su-Ming Khoo (NUI Galway) 
  • Christopher O’Connell (Dublin City University) 
  • Margot Tudor (University of Exeter) 

Register here:
https://nuigalway-ie.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkceitpzsvHdFGTGeAUlcx77zUfVi4Iwmb 

Further information: 
Maria Cullen – School of History & Philosophy, NUI Galway – m.cullen10@nuigalway.ie Vikki Walshe – Project Manager, Dóchas – vikki@dochas.ie

International Solidarity Now! Event.

On June 17, CFPI will be hosting “International Solidarity Now: A gathering for a more just Canadian foreign policy.”

This live event features presentations from Leap co-founder Avi Lewis, Halifax poet El Jones, and Toronto organizer John Clarke on the importance of international activism. The event will also feature short presentations from over a dozen organizations like MiningWatch Canada, Project Ploughshares, and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, highlighting how they are helping to build a more just Canadian foreign policy. 

Join us and hear from organizers across the country working towards a foreign policy based on peace and human rights.

Since Canada’s defeat in its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council there has been growth in critical foreign policy discussion & activism. But much more is still required. “International Solidarity Now!” is a gathering of antiwar, mining justice, and international solidarity organizations that aims to connect, strengthen and amplify our collective efforts. Join us and learn about Canada’s movement for a foreign policy based on peace & human rights.

Event is free and open to the public.

The CNHH is one of the many groups proudly participating in this event.

Follow this link to register or visit the foreignpolicy.ca website for more.

Agenda – AGM June 4, 2021

  1. Introductions
  • CHA Panel:
  1. 2021 – update
    1. 2022 planning
  • Updates on CNHH projects
  1. Report from ongoing MITACS projects (Anna, Helen, Elizabeth)
    1. David Webster
    1. Archival Rescue
    1. Teaching…Recipro, upcoming courses, and other projects.
  • News from overseas partners
  • Future projects:
    • NGO partners
    • Funding
    • Training
  • Housekeeping:
    • Website overhaul
    • Governance update
    • Membership update and potential new members
  • New Business

Eleventh Bulletin of the CNHH, May 2021

The Eleventh Bulletin of the CNHH has now been sent out to the membership.  If you missed it, the complete PDF of the bulletin can be found here: Bulletin of the CNHH May 2021 FINAL

It has been more than a year since the last bulletin of April 2020. We hope that you are all well and that you will continue to send news, posts and announcements.

  1. I. PANEL AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The annual CNHH sponsored panel on “Making Connections with the Public: Alternative Approaches to Learning History” will take place on Monday May 31, from 11:00 to 12:15 Ottawa time, virtually. The program of the CHA virtual conference is here: https://cha-shc.ca/_uploads/6092c3d816fd7.pdf

Continue reading

Launch of Recipro Teaching Website

Inéz Petrazzini, research assistant and a student in International Development at the University of Ottawa, talked about Recipro at the Shared Online Projects Initiative (SOPI) Showcase Event on April 29, 2021. The celebration was hosted by Dr. Aline Germain-Rutherford, Vice-Provost, Academic Affairs, University of Ottawa and Dr. David Hornsby, Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, Carleton University. Developed by an inter-university partnership that includes the participation of students in courses in History and Sociology, the Recipro website project focuses on the history of international solidarity and centres on the convergence of pedagogy, science, and digital humanities.

You can watch the video here: https://mediaspace.carleton.ca/embed/secure/iframe/entryId/1_614uy931/uiConfId/36153741


Inéz Petrazzini is a third-year student completing an honours bachelor’s degree in International Development and Globalization (CO-OP) at the University of Ottawa. She worked as a Research and Teacher’s Assistant and Webmaster on the Recipro team. Her responsibilities included guiding students with their digital projects, building, developing, and updating the Omeka website, creating and contributing content for the Recipro project, as well as cataloguing, translating, and migrating content provided by the mentioned professors onto Omeka. Some of her interests include global politics, sustainable development projects, digital humanities, visual arts, and music.

The original video describing the Recipro Project can be found on the Recipro website and on their About Us page.

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