You are invited to celebrate the CNHH-sponsored launch of Dr. Kevin O’Sullivan’s book The NGO Moment: The Globalisation of Compassion from Biafra to Live Aid. Join us on zoom on March 30 at 4 p.m. EST! Guest Speakers include: Dr. Ruth Compton Brouwer, Dr. John W. Foster, Dr. Laura Madokoro, and Dr. Ian Smillie. Register for the zoom link here: https://ubc.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Erde2tqT0vHNUNofQ-G-cm1TUEztwvS5MF
Top 6 English-language Works on Children and Humanitarian Aid
~ as recommended by Dominique Marshall, September 2021~
~ With an introduction by Sarah Glassford ~
Although some of the modern world’s earliest humanitarian movements and organizations revolved around adult concerns such as the immorality of chattel slavery or the devastation of war, children quickly emerged as a central focus of certain humanitarian efforts and as powerful ambassadors of need in many others. As Karen Dubinsky writes, children “are as rich in symbolism as they are short on power,” making their perceived suffering an excellent means of mobilizing support for fundraising and awareness campaigns. But they are also people with a degree of agency, who experience their times and circumstances – and the aid thrust upon them – in ways that do not necessarily follow the roles ascribed to them.
What follows is a shortlist of English-language works – some classic and some more recent – that innovatively and sometimes movingly explore the ways children at home and abroad have been recipients, donors, and symbols of humanitarian aid.
Dr. Marshall’s (current) top 6 essential reads, in order of publication:
1. Joy Parr. Labouring Children: British Immigrant Apprentices to Canada, 1869-1924. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1980.
This classic study of orphaned and working-class British children sent to Canada as apprentices and adoptees provides a very well-rounded view of the (not always positive) outcomes of child-saving adults’ good intentions and authority. It also emphasizes the impact of class on childhood – particularly for the children of the poor.
2. J.R. Miller. Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996.
Another classic study, this one is about assimilationist institutions for Indigenous children that were claimed in their time to be a form of Canadian humanitarianism at home. Although there are now more recent, and more critical, works on the residential schools, Miller’s chapter on the resistance of the children is still full of meaning and good questions.
3. Erica Bornstein. The Spirit of Development: Protestant NGOs, Morality, and Economics in Zimbabwe. New York: Routledge, 2003.
An anthropological and sociological study of two religious, transnational NGOs in Zimbabwe, Bornstein’s study offers an excellent on-the-ground view of the roles of both sponsors and sponsored children/families, that prompts new ways of thinking about humanitarian images, actions, and consequences.
4. David M. Rosen. Child Soldiers in War and Terrorism. Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.
The question of child soldiers is all too often oversimplified. Rosen’s study unpacks the many complicated dimensions of this phenomenon, including how a variety of political groups in Africa have argued in different ways for the rights of children, and the decisions made by children themselves.
5. Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler. “Copying and Conversion: An 1824 Friendship Album ‘from a Chinese Youth.’” American Quarterly 59, 2 (2007): 301-339.
Sanchez-Eppler’s careful study of a friendship album created at a Connecticut school that trained “heathen” youths to be foreign missionaries, interpreters, doctors, and teachers is a wonderful model for how to approach and mine primary sources for evidence of children’s expressions and emotions – even in what might appear to be conventional copy-work or formulaic sentiments.
6. Matthew Hilton. “Ken Loach and the Save the Children Film: Humanitarianism, Imperialism, and the Changing Role of Charity in Postwar Britain.” The Journal of Modern History 87, 2 (2015): 357-394.
Hilton’s valuable article examines the first fifty years of Britain’s Save the Children through the lens of a 1969 documentary by Ken Loach that framed SCF’s work in Africa as a form of imperialism. The Loach film and Hilton’s article both highlight how domestic social policies and humanitarian endeavours proceed from the same attitudes. There is much more to say in this area – for instance, with respect to the teaching of lip-reading (rather than sign language) to deaf children, as documented in Lindsay Anderson and Guy Brenton’s 1954 short documentary Thursday’s Children (about The Royal School for the Deaf in Margate, UK).
Dr. Dominique Marshall is Professor of History at Carleton University, where she teaches and researches the histories of social policy, children’s rights, humanitarian aid, refugees, disability, and technology. She is the founder and coordinator of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History, and served as president of the Canadian Historical Association 2013-2015. Her book, Aux origines sociales de l’État providence (1998) [available in English as The Social Origins of the Welfare State (2006)] received the Jean-Charles Falardeau Prize (now Canada Prize) from the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities. Among many other organizations and projects, she is a member of the advisory board of Resilient Humanitarianism funded by the Australian Research Council, and of the teaching website Recipro: the history of international and humanitarian aid.
Dr. Sarah Glassford is the Archivist in Leddy Library’s Archives & Special Collections at the University of Windsor, and a social historian of modern Canada whose published works include Mobilizing Mercy: A History of the Canadian Red Cross (2017). She would like to officially thank Dominique for introducing her to the formal study of humanitarian history (ca. 2008, when Sarah was a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton’s neighbouring institution, the University of Ottawa) and for looping her into many shared projects and networking opportunities ever after.
 Karen Dubinsky, “Children, Ideology, and Iconography: How Babies Rule the World,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 5, 1 (2012): 8.
- CHA Panel:
- 2021 – update
- 2022 planning
- Updates on CNHH projects
- Report from ongoing MITACS projects (Anna, Helen, Elizabeth)
- David Webster
- Archival Rescue
- Teaching…Recipro, upcoming courses, and other projects.
- News from overseas partners
- Future projects:
- NGO partners
- Website overhaul
- Governance update
- Membership update and potential new members
- New Business
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.
You can find the video for this talk at the link below:
In 1975, Indonesian forces overran East Timor, just days after it had declared independence from Portugal. Canadian officials knew the invasion was coming and initially endorsed Indonesian rule. The ensuing occupation of the Southeast Asian country lasted twenty-four years.
Challenge the Strong Wind recounts the evolution of Canadian government policy toward East Timor from 1975 to its 1999 independence vote. During this time, Canadian civil society groups and NGOs worked in support of Timorese independence activists by promoting an alternative Canadian foreign policy that focused on self-determination and human rights. After following the lead of pro-Indonesian allies in the 1970s and ’80s, by the 1990s Ottawa had yielded to pressure from these NGOs and began to make its own decisions, eventually pushing like-minded countries to join it in supporting Timorese self-rule.
David Webster draws on previously untapped archival sources to articulate both government and non-government perceptions of the crisis. Human rights, competing nationalist claims, and peacemaking – key twentieth-century themes – intersect in East Timor, and the conflict provides a model of multilevel dialogue, citizen diplomacy, and novel approaches to resolving complex disputes. Ultimately, Webster criticizes the Canadian government for complicity in a near genocide, demonstrating that a clear-eyed view of international history must include non-state perspectives.
This sharply drawn work will be required reading for scholars studying Canadian history, foreign policy, international relations, human rights, Southeast Asia, and social activism.
In this interview with Dr. Samantha Cutrara, Dr. Glassford talks about a letter sent home from London in 1943 to demonstrate how prominent emotional labour and creating networks of home was for many women in the Red Cross. We talk about gender, and gendered expectations of care and service during the war, and how women’s experiences and expectations may have grated against these. This interview discusses the use of primary sources, women and WWII, and largely about emotions and caring through the lens of the Canadian Red Cross’ overseas humanitarian work.
Note: This conversation was recorded early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buy Making the Best of It here:
More about Sarah: Sarah Glassford is a social historian and an archivist in the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor. She is the author of Mobilizing Mercy: A History of the Canadian Red Cross, and co-editor of A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War.
Learn more about Dr. Samantha Cutrara at https://www.SamanthaCutrara.com/
Order Transforming the Canadian History Classroom: Imagining a New ‘We’: https://www.ubcpress.ca/transforming-the-canadian-history-classroom
Held in mid-February 2021, this webinar was sponsored by the CNHH featuring five academics coming together from different aspects of Canadian foreign policy and aid relations: David Webster (Bishop’s University), Jill Campbell-Miller (Carleton University), Nassisse Solomon (Western University), April Ingham (Pacific People’s Partnership), Dru Oja Jay (co-author Paved with Good Intentions), and moderated by Bianca Mugyenyi (Canadian Foreign Policy Institute).
Due to Facebook policy regarding embedded video, please follow the link below rather than the Play Video button.
History Beyond Borders publishes e-dossiers on international history composed of documents and images from both government and non-government sources on international events during the 20th century, with a focus on relations between the developed North and the less developed countries of the global South. Continue reading
Immigration Politics, Refugee Crises, and Ethnic Dynamics in the Turbulent 2010s: Canada and Beyond.
Deadline EXTENDED: 24 February 2020.
The Canadian Ethnic Studies Association (CESA) invites panel and/or paper proposals for its upcoming 26th conference on the theme of “Immigration Politics, Refugee Crises, and Ethnic Dynamics in the Turbulent 2010s: Canada and Beyond”. The 2010s was a decade in which the issues of immigration policy, border security, rising ethnic tensions, new and ongoing regional and national political conflicts, multiple displacements and escalating refugee crises dominated the news in many different countries – from the United States and Canada in North America to the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece in Europe, and to China, Australia, Myanmar, and New Zealand in East Asia and Oceania. This dominance was so pronounced that the immigration/ethnic issues became one of the paramount forces in determining the political directions and election results in different countries; they also led to the rise of a new right-wing populist discourse as well as new and old uncertainties about the meaning and possibility of citizenship, identity / sense of belonging, freedom, human rights, and justice. Meanwhile, despite the conservative and exclusionary politics in various western countries, citizens’ groups and solidarity movements have emerged or strengthened existing voices that support inclusion and integration of migrants and refugees. Finally, this decade also witnessed technological advancements, which not only changed state organization, the economy and the social world that we live in, but also shifted the methodological landscape, pushing the research frontier in immigration and ethnic studies.
This conference provides a forum to discuss a wide range of issues related to immigration and ethnic dynamics during this turbulent decade, and to offer perspectives for the future. The participants are invited to address any aspect of this changing landscape, including (but not limited to):
- The place of Canada in the global migration scene
- The global impact of Canadian immigration policies and practices
- The treatment of immigrants and refugees; promises and limitations of Canada’s immigration policy
- Regional particularisms in immigration policies
- Multiculturalism: policy, practice, evidence; and benefits, limitations, challenges
- Ethnic diversity and cultural vitality
- Implications of the changing global landscape on Canada’s immigration and multiculturalism policies
- Immigration discourse at a time of rising populism
- The interplay of international migration trends and ethno-cultural and religious communities in Canada
- The experiences of particular immigrant and newcomer communities
- Indigenous populations and relations with immigrants and newcomers
- Immigration and the smaller cities and rural areas
- The roles, contributions, and challenges of immigration/settlement agencies
- Immigrant and refugee youth: health, education and integration issues
- Immigrant and refugee seniors
- Migration and gender-based violence
- Refugees: trauma, survival and integration
- Big data and big ideas in immigration and ethnic studies
CESA invites theoretical and empirically-based contributions, individual papers and/or fully formed panels, standard papers or presentations in other formats (e.g., posters, roundtables, films), and all the above from a variety of disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.
The venue for the 26th Canadian Ethnic Studies Association’s conference will be Saint Mary’s University, located in the historic port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a vibrant, urban community of over 400,000 people. Halifax is Atlantic Canada’s major educational centre and home to five universities, with a long history of immigration, settlement and diversity. Saint Mary’s University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancenstral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.
Who Should Attend?
In addition to members of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, the conference will be relevant to a wide range of people interested in history, ethnicity, race, immigration and citizenship issues in Canada and internationally. University professors, graduate students, other researchers and teachers; policymakers and civil servants from all levels of government; those who work in various non-governmental organizations, as well as those involved as frontline workers delivering various kinds of social services – all of these will find that this conference offers them worthwhile information, challenging critical perspectives, and an opportunity to network and discuss important issues with people from across the country and from a variety of academic disciplines and institutional perspectives.
Conference organizers welcome proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, posters and video presentations that address any of the related topics. Organizers invite submissions from a variety of perspectives, academic disciplines, and areas of study.The deadline for submission of proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, and poster presentations is
February 15th, 2020 February 24, 2020. The decisions on the submitted proposals will be communicated by March 30th, 2020.
All abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and will be refereed by the CESA Program Committee. Individual conference presentations will normally be 20 minutes in length, and conference sessions will be 90 minutes. Abstracts should be directed electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Affairs Canada – Foreign Policy Research – PORH
$88,704 to $98,569
Closing date: 8 January 2020 – 23:59, Pacific Time
Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad.
For further information including the online application process, please visit the Government of Canada job postings website.