original post on H-Diplo by Mélanie Torrent
The African Commonwealth : perceptions, realities and limits (new deadline / new dates)
14-15 November 2019
Institute of Political Studies, Strasbourg
The next Commonwealth Summit, due to be held in Kigali in 2020, promises to give Africa new visibility in the politics of the governmental delegations and civil society organisations which will converge in Rwanda. The youngest member of the Commonwealth, having joined in 2009, a joint member of the Francophonie whose secretary general is now former Rwandan Foreign and International Cooperation Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo, and an active player in global, continental and regional dynamics, Rwanda will be an important space for the Commonwealth to show that it is an attractive multilateral organisation for the 21st century – and for observers to assess this critically. On Africa, beside a number of success stories, the ongoing “Anglophone crisis” in Cameroon will raise difficult but urgent questions. More generally, the renegotiation of the Cotonou Agreements and the question of the Economic Partnership Agreements, the redefinition of the UK’s relations with the overall Commonwealth (including in the current uncertain context of Brexit) and the interest shown by African states in either re-entering (Zimbabwe) or joining (Togo) the Commonwealth also makes a re-assessment of the meaning of the Commonwealth in Africa and for Africa an important and timely issue. Continue reading
The Ninth Bulletin of the CNHH was sent out this morning for all subscribers. If you missed it, the bulletin in its entirety can be found below.
Regarding the Pain of Others: What Emotions have to do in the History of Humanitarian Images.
A workshop organized by the Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities (University of Geneva) and the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (University of Geneva).
Taking the title of Susan Sontag’s seminal work as a starting point, this workshop aims at re-opening an old debate about the potentialities of exhibiting other’s suffering in order to promote a culture of peace, prevent war and/or resolve conflict. Sontag concluded in her book that images of atrocities had led the Global North to a form of
exhaustion, also called compassion fatigue, which has been criticized more recently as a myth. Yet, images remain today the main strategy of humanitarian organizations to raise awareness and funds.
For any who missed the Network’s most recent bulletin, it can be read in its’ entirety below. Continue reading
The next meeting of the North American Conference on British Studies will be held in Providence, RI on October 25-28, 2018.
Theme: “Altruism and its Discontents: Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development.”
The deadline to apply is February 15, 2018.
From the NACBS description:
This workshop will explore human rights, humanitarianism, and development in the modern period, c. 1800-2000, through the prism of “altruism.” While usually treated separately, each of these areas of endeavor grapples with often competing interests in projects aimed at improving the lives of others, some altruistic, others less so. We seek papers that engage critically in human rights, humanitarianism, or development, with special consideration for those positioned at their intersections. What has been the relationship between humanitarianism and discourses on human rights and how has it changed over time? How do we explain the dynamics of imperialism, internationalism, and foreign intervention? Humanitarian intervention and development? Or, empire, decolonization, and “development” projects? Where were projects made and unmade and how? What were their costs and who bore them? Where did these discourses or projects fit within anti-colonial resistance or in the civic life of post-colonial societies? While our emphasis is on British engagement in the world, we welcome equally papers that examine the reception of these projects among local populations and/or that put British actors in comparative or international context.
by Tyler Owens
On December 12th and 13th 2016, the conference A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid, 1950-2016 was held at the Global Affairs Canada Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa. The aim of the conference was to explore the development of Canadian foreign aid over the preceding 60 years. (In footnote: 2016 was also the 60th anniversary of the publication of A Samaritan State?, among the first scholarly analyses of Canada’s foreign aid policy, written by Dr. Keith Spicer.) Prior to the official opening of the conference, archivists, historians, and members of the aid sector from Quebec and Ontario gathered for a workshop session. The aim of this session was to bring together colleagues from all branches of aid history; those gathered were experts in the archival, library, and document management sciences related to the production, preservation, and use of archives on humanitarian aid. The workshop therefore facilitated the sharing of tips, procedures, and best practices for researching the history of Canadian aid.
The workshop took the form of seven presentations followed by a brief question period.
With conference season looming, this is just a gentle reminder that registration is open for the Third Workshop on the History of Humanitarian Aid. Please join us for what promises to be a productive and informative meeting of some of the brightest minds in our field. There is no fee to attend and participate, though registration of your attendance is required.
By William Tait
The Second Canadian Workshop on the History of Humanitarian Aid took place on 30 May 2015 at Carleton University in Ottawa. The event built on a workshop held last year where historians from across Canada, archivists from Library and Archives Canada and Carleton University Archives, a well as humanitarian practitioners from Partnership Africa Canada, Oxfam, and MATCH International Women’s Fund met to welcome Dr Kevin O’Sullivan from the National University of Ireland. Kevin was a catalyst for the first workshop in 2014 when he travelled to Canada to conduct research. In his latest book O’Sullivan has likened Irish and Canadian use of soft power through aid and development1. Under the organisation of Dominique Marshall, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Carleton and former President of the Canadian Historical Association, a website was created after the 2014 meeting to link a growing online collaboration of aid practitioners, archivists, and academics interested in preserving the history of humanitarian action both in Canada and elsewhere. O’Sullivan returned to Carleton this year to brief the workshop and members of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History (CNHH) on developments in the field and to continue to expand collaboration with European partners.
Welcome to the new website of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History: aidhistory.ca. In this website you will find the materialization of the wishes of the members of the network, who expressed their feelings and necessities on what the website should include during the Second Canadian Workshop on the History of Humanitarian Aid, which was held on May 30 2015.
By Rebecca Henfrey
Establishing a Program Mandate; what kind of deliverables are we looking for?
- Knowledge Mobilization: One of the most important goals of undertaking these projects is demonstrating their practicality. NGOs want you to be able to show that the knowledge you gather has value and from there the community is invested. If there is a formulaic way to do this and potentially demonstrate how this can aid in funding, it can serve to work for both parties involved.
- Methodology and Information Sharing: This network will be used to share syllabi, teaching resources and materials and workshops. Individuals will be able to blog about their teaching experiences and perhaps elaborate more upon their professional and practical experiences in this field, providing information on their methodologies
- Networking and Twitter: Twitter can not only be used as a teaching resource, it can also be used as a platform to set up courses and integrate teaching about humanitarian agencies an NGOs into ‘mainstream’ courses as it allows professors to broaden their approach.
- Module Development and Shared Classes: One potential project that can be undertaken by multiple individuals is the development of modules that can be placed in a classroom or workshop environment. It would be a helpful resource that could be provided to instructors without requiring them to do too much legwork.
- Cultivation of Collaborative Discussion: The encouragement of collaborative discussion within the website’s forums was identified as a key priority for the program. Finding a way to connect individuals, whether that be for the purposes of scholarly feedback or discussion amongst students, researchers, instructors and other members is very important.
- Growth of Membership: Once a critical mass of members has been reached, the chances of organizing a conference increase. Currently there is a sense of isolation due to the fact that this is a developing field. One proposed way to encourage membership numbers was to engage postgrad students. Because of the emerging and developing nature of this field, it has to be done organically, from the bottom up with engagement alongside deliverance of information.
- Attendance of Conferences: Another mandate of this program was to reach out to other historians and practitioners in the field by attending conferences. CCI was listed as a potential
- Establish methods of relationship buildlng
Final Priorities; as identified and recorded on whiteboard and through discussion
- Establish and maintain trust between NGOs and Researchers
- Keep distance and respect in these relationships
- Look at models of partnership
- Non-State Humanitarianism
- Humanitarian history as a part of history of imperialism, globalization, development
- Share readings, contacts
- Organization of academic panels
- Publication of special issues of journals
- Establishment of international networks
- Teach, supervise and discuss
- Interest and organize volunteer work
- Foster inter-disciplinarity in research and work
- Workshop in NGO building next time?
- Organize Archives/Research aids
- Preserve archives
- Identify content of photos
- Identify and collect personal collections
- Conduct oral histories
- Present history of NGO website
- Talks to create interest
- History workshops for new NGO staff, to avoid mistakes and to raise funds