Thirteenth Bulletin of the CNHH, May 2023
It has been more than a year since the last bulletin of May 2022. We hope that you are all well and that you will continue to send news, posts and announcements.
- CNHH at Congress 2023, York University or virtual
- Round table on humanitarian archives – 30th May
- Annual general meeting – 29th May
- CASID panels
- News from members
- Archives news
- Common initiatives from members
- Blogs & talks published by the CNHH
- Welcome to new members
I. CONGRESS 2023 YORK UNIVERSITY
CNHH ROUNDTABLE, ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & OTHER NEWS
Roundtable: “Ahistorical Aid: The Hidden Costs of Historical Amnesia in NGOs” (Session 48)
- Format: Roundtable, hybrid format (online + in-person).
- Venue: York University, Toronto – Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (DB) room 0016 + online
- Date & Time: Tuesday, 30th May 2023, 10:30–noon (EST)
- Chair: Sarah Glassford, Archivist, University of Windsor
- David Webster, Historian, Bishop’s University
- Fabrice Weissman, Aid practitioner, Médecins Sans Frontières (Paris)
- Chris Trainor, Archivist, Carleton University
- Melanie Oppenheimer, Historian, Australian National University
- Description: This roundtable will explore the intertwined subjects of archives, history, and aid work in the world of NGOs. The panelists bring overlapping experiences as historians of aid, aid practitioners in the field, advocates for historical and archival preservation, and observers of aid organizations’ uses of history. Rather than the traditional approach of hearing a series of short talks followed by audience Q&A, in this roundtable the chair will ask the panelists to discuss a series of questions in an interactive fashion, with the goal of engaging one another and the audience in a true dialogue on the subject of how NGOs do and don’t use their own histories, why that is, and why it matters for both historians and for the organizations themselves.
- To participate:
- Registered attendees of the CHA conference at Congress may attend in person or can join online via a link provided by Congress. The full program of the CHA conference is here
- Community members not otherwise involved in Congress may join in person at the above location. At this time, it is not possible to join online without paying a registration fee for the CHA conference and Congress. A “community pass” to Congress is available for $55, plus the CHA registration fee (student, full-time employed, retiree & unwaged rates available). See information on the Congress website.
The Annual meeting of the CNHH will take place on Monday, 29th May from 12:00 to 1:30pm (EST)
- To participate: You may attend in person at the room Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (DB) 0011. Or register here for a Teams alternative: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/canadian-network-in-humanitarian-history-cnhh-business-meeting-tickets-630714693627
Microsoft Teams meeting
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- The agenda will include research updates, David’s Webster suggestion for a project of digitization of humanitarian archives, plans for the future, website update, sponsored panel for 2024, and appointment of future officers. To add other points, please email Sarah Glassford, who will be chairing the meeting (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Panels of interest: Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID)
- David Webster Open film screening presented by CASID, ‘WHEN I SAY AFRICA’ – ADVANCE FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION AT CASID 2023 https://casid-acedi.ca/annual-conference
- International Development Policy Making in Canada: Actors, Politics and Discourse – 29th May, 1:30 to 3 pm, McLaughlin College MC 215
- Reflections on International Development Studies in Canada: Change, Challenges and new Directions – 30th May, 1:30 – 3 pm, Vari Hall VHC
- Deconstructions Development: a panel on practical approaches to achieve justice and equality (my panel) – 31st May, 1:30 – 3 pm, McLaughlin College, MC 215
II. NEWS FROM MEMBERS
- Sonya de Laat and Nassisse Solomon are collaborating with colleagues at Oxford and Johns Hopkins on a fledgling project exploring the decolonization of global health imagery though a transdisciplinary bioethics and historical lens: Towards an ethics of global health visuals. The collaboration was initiated between Sonya de Laat and Arsenii Alinechev, a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford, while Dr. de Laat was a visiting scholar at the Ethox Centre last June. The project is currently funded through Dr. Alinechev’s postdoctoral fellowship as a subproject to the GLIDEnetwork. The project team includes CNHH members Sonya de Laat and Nassisse Solomon among the full team that can be found here: https://www.oxjhubioethics.org/research/putting-people-and-diseases-into-the-picture
- Laura Madakoro, supported by an Early Researcher Award, launched The Disaster Lab at Carleton University. Inspired by very real climate change crises 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.
- Dominique Marshall continued the series of joint interviews with Oxfam Canada veterans, conducted in collaboration with Susan Johnson, Marc Allain and Lawrence Cummings. published three articles: “Teaching Human Rights History,”in The American Review of Canadian Studies; “Creating, Archiving and Exhibiting Disability History: The Oral Histories of Disability Activists of the Carleton University Disability Research Group” (with T. Jennissen, C. Trainor, and B. Robertson), in First Monday; and “Supporting Research on Gender and Design Amongst STEAM Researchers in the Souths: A Case Study of Subsumption in Design Methods” (with C. Del Gaudio and B. Hallgrimsson), in DRS2022: Bilbao. Dr. Marshall was also involved in the Gendered Design in STEAM project.
- On 9 May 2023, the chiefs of Canadian humanitarian agencies, members of the Canadian Humanitarian Response Network (HRN), met in Ottawa to discuss issues they face, among them the Canadian response to rising levels of international migration and increased refugee flows, the challenges for humanitarian agencies of sanctions on illegal regimes in crisis situations, and financing mechanisms available to civil society organizations for their humanitarian work. Presenters included the UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative in Canada, Matthieu Kimmel, the Director of humanitarian policy at Global Affairs Canada, and Hunter McGill, Senior Fellow at the School of International Development, University of Ottawa.
- David Webster will present a film at CASID (see above) With the help of a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, David Webster has been working with the Pacific Peoples Partnership to digitize their archives. PPP was formed in 1975. Based in Victoria, it is the only Canadian NGO working on the Pacific Islands. Its first overseas project, support to build cooking houses in Tonga after a natural disaster, is described at https://theconversation.com/canadian-reconstruction-aid-to-tonga-40-years-ago-points-the-way-today-175506. The digitization stage of this project is now complete and major materials will be described over the course of Summer 2023. We expect to be able to hire a student to work on describing and uploading the materials this summer. If interested, please contact email@example.com
- Stephen Osei-Owusu convened the successful Shannon Lecture Series in History – Spring 2022, on the regulation of natural resource extraction in Canada and Africa.
III. ARCHIVES NEWS
- Carleton University’s Archives and Special Collections has returned to acquiring personal collections after the pandemic’s ripple effects posed some issues with acquiring and processing archival donations. Multiple donations that were received over the last year are still being processed to be made accessible and discoverable for researchers.
IV. COMMON INITIATIVES FROM MEMBERS
- At an informal meeting held in January 2022, the CNHH adopted a small Steering Committee. If you are interested in participating in, please get in touch!
- Caitlin Arbour, Carleton university Undergraduate Student in History, has continued to research the history of Farm Radio International by conducting interviews with veterans of their training program in several countries of the African continent over two academic terms. This has been made possible by a grant from the I-CUREUS program at Carleton University, and within the Practicum Program of the department of History.
V. BLOGS & TALKS PUBLISHED BY THE CNHH SINCE THE LAST BULLETIN
- The History, and Future, of Transnational Humanitarian Work: Report from Two Years of Co-Creation of Knowledge, Policy, and Education Materials, 12 August 2022, by Helen Kennedy
- Exploring the Intersections of Science and International Humanitarian Aid, 21 January 2023, by Dominique Marshall.
- Check out upcoming blogs from Hunter McGill and Sonya DeLaat
VI. WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
- Caitlin Arbour, undergraduate student in history, Carleton University. Caitlin works with Sylvia Harrison of Farm Radio International at a project of oral history, under the guidance of the CNHH.
- Claire Lefort-Rieu is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the Centre Population et Développement (Ceped) in Paris. For several years, she worked for international NGOs providing assistance to forced displaced people in the Middle East and Africa. Thanks to her professional and academic experience, she practices a methodology of “networked double ethnography” with both aid actors and their so-called “beneficiaries”. After working on religious “minorities” among the Iraqi refugees, she now studies forced migration governance in Cameroon.
- Rachel Sandwell, Faculty Lecturer – McGill University – History and Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Sandwell’s first book looked at South African women’s exile politics, examining the work of women activists when the major South African resistance movements were based outside South Africa, in other African countries. This led to her current research on NGO, including Canadian NGO, relationships with African liberation movements in the 1960s-1980s. She is exploring how NGOs balanced support for the ambitions of liberation organizations with unease over the military aspect of these movements, and how the movements, NGOs, and African states hosting the liberation movements navigated the differences and overlaps between refugees and political exiles.
- Jonathon Zimmer, MA Student, University of Regina – History; BA (Thompson Rivers University) Jonathon’s fields of interest involve a broad range of topics pertaining to the history of Canadian reaction to humanitarian crises. For instance, his MA thesis explores the reaction of the Canadian media to the Ethiopian Famine of 1984, and how this influenced federal approaches to the crisis. The media’s role in exposing the scope and scale of the Ethiopian famine, and in evaluating the effectiveness of the government’s response, played a crucial role in shaping that response. The shock value of what was shown on TV was a powerful call to action, and Canadians expected their government to step up.
- The full list of members is on the CNHH website.
If you haven’t followed the CNHH on Twitter, please do so! Feel free to tag us in your announcements, and we will retweet! @AidHistoryCan
Helen Kennedy, Bulletin Coordinator
Copyright © 2023 Canadian Network on Humanitarian History, all rights reserved.
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