Conference Announcement “Histories of the Red Cross Movement: Continuity & Change”, 9-11 September, 2016, Adelaide, Australia

Conference Convenors:

Professor Melanie Oppenheimer
Professor of History, Flinders University

Professor Neville Wylie
Professor of International Political History, University of Nottingham, UK

Dr Christine Winter ARC Future Fellow
University of Sydney, Australia

Dr James Crossland
Senior Lecturer in International History, Liverpool John Moores University UK

This conference acknowledges the growing number of historians and researchers working in the rapidly expanding area of the history of the international Red Cross Movement. With its origins in the mid-nineteenth century, this global humanitarian organisation includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) originally formed in Geneva in 1863, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) created in 1919, as well as the 189 (at last count) national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
The convenors seek to bring together scholars and those interested in the Red Cross Movement from around the world to explore a number of themes that related to the historical development of this large, multifaceted, complex organisation.

More information can be found here:

Call for Papers: International Conference “Gender & Humanitarianism”, IEG Mainz, 29 June – 1 July 2017

CfP Conference

“Gender & Humanitarianism. (Dis-)Empowering Women and Men in the Twentieth Century”

IEG Mainz, June 29 – July 1, 2017

Conveners: Esther Möller, Johannes Paulmann, Katharina Stornig

© ICRC / hist-02753-24a 1© ICRC / hist-02753-24a 1

© Imperial War Museum London / hist-0021 1

© Imperial War Museum London / hist-0021 1

This conference will discuss the relationship between gender and humanitarian discourse and practice in the twentieth century. Although the history of humanitarianism has recently attracted attention from scholars working in a variety of fields, surprisingly little has been said about the workings of gender in this globalizing enterprise. To fill this gap, this interdisciplinary conference will analyze the ways in which constructions and ideologies of gender shaped and were shaped by humanitarian practices, interactions, ideas, and bodies. We invite innovative contributions from historians, anthropologists, social scientists and from the humanities discussing twentieth-century humanitarian actors (organizations, movements, and individual activists), discourses and practices in the context of gender. The conference particularly emphasizes the time between the First World War and the end of the Cold War, with a special focus on the (re)production of humanitarian structures, organizations and orders in both post-war periods and in the context of heightened colonialism and decolonization. It thus concentrates on a period that not only witnessed a great expansion of humanitarian action worldwide but also saw fundamental changes in gender relations and the gradual emergence of gender-sensitive policies in humanitarian organizations in many Western and non-Western settings.

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New Special Issue on “Humanitarianism”

Maria Framke and Joël Glasman have recently edited a special issue on “Humanitarianism” for the German historical journal “Werkstatt.Geschichte”.

Contributions in both English and German by Semih Çelik, Alexandra Pfeiff, Heike Wieters and Florian Hannig shed light on different aspect of humanitarian action in the international shpere in the nineteenth and twentieh century and promise new insights into the global history of humanitarianism:

WerkstattGeschichte Heft 68, humanitarismus

Editorial by Maria Framke, Joël Glasman and the editorial staff

Semih Çelik: Between History of Humanitarianism and Humanitarianization of History. A Discussion on Ottoman Help for the Victims of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1852

Alexandra Pfeiff: Das Chinesische Rote Kreuz und die Rote Swastika Gesellschaft. Eine vergleichende Perspektive auf chinesischen Humanitarismus

Heike Wieters: Krisen, Kompromisse, Kalter Krieg. Die amerikanische NGO CARE und die Anfänge humanitärer Nahrungsmittelhilfe in Ägypten, 1954-1958

Florian Hannig: Mitleid mit Biafranern in Westdeutschland. Eine Historisierung von Empathie

For further information on the volume “Humanitarismus”, volume 68 (2015), see or the link of the Journal “Werkstatt.Geschichte” @

New publication on the history of humanitarianism in the Middle East and North Africa

The research program “Humanitarian Policy Group” at the British research institute ODI (Overseas Development Institute) in London has recently published the first results of its project on “The global history of humanitarian action”, focusing on the history of humanitarian action in the Middle East and North Africa.

This study, edited by Eleanor Davey and Eva Svoboda, offers interesting insights into both the still unexplored history of humanitarianism in the Arab World and its important links with urgent questions of the present time.

The publication can be found and downloaded at:


International Research Network on Non-State Humanitarianism

The second workshop of the international research network „Non-state Humanitarianism: From Colonialism to Human Rights“ took place on 20-21th of June 2013 at the National University of Galway in Ireland. Matthew Hilton (University of Birmingham) and Kevin O’Sullivan (National University of Galway) convened this interdisciplinary encounter on the topic of „Sources and Uses of Humanitarian History“. For two days scholars and humanitarian practicioners discussed about the challenges of researching and writing humanitarian history from the colonial period until today.

For a presentation of the network, a report of the first workshop and the program of the second workshop, see the network’s homepage: