The fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) took place from July 09 to 20, 2018 at the University of Exeter and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The GHRA was organized by FABIAN KLOSE (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), JOHANNES PAULMANN (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), and ANDREW THOMPSON (University of Exeter) in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with support by the German Historical Institute London. The Steering Committee received a huge amount of applications for the GHRA 2018 from around the world and selected twelve fellows (nine PhD candidates, three Postdocs). The participants came from Canada, China, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States and represented a range of disciplinary approaches from History, International Relations, and Political Science. Additionally, the GHRA was joined by GUY THOMAS (ICRC Geneva), IRÈNE HERRMANN (University of Geneva), STACEY HYND (University of Exeter), MARC-WILLIAM PALEN (University of Exeter), and ANDREAS GESTRICH (German Historical Institute London).
On Day One, the participants started with discussing crucial texts on the historiography of humanitarianism and human rights. The common reading list included texts regarding the historical emergence of humanitarianism since the eighteenth century and the troubled relationship between humanitarianism, human rights, and international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the participants reflected on twentieth century conjunctures of humanitarian aid and the colonial entanglements of human rights as well as recent scholarship on the genealogies of the politics of humanitarian protection and human rights since the 1970s. In the evening, MARCUS GEISSER (ICRC, United Kingdom) gave a stimulating public guest lecture “The ‘present’ is never present – it is already past. Humanitarian action in an age of reorder” at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter, in which he reflected on his personal experiences as an ICRC delegate for twenty years in various conflicts around the world.
The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy(GHRA) offers research training to PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is for early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies, human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century as well as the institutional history of the ICRC and the development of its fundamental principles. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.
In July 2019, the Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy
will first meet for one week in Mainz for academic sessions of lectures, class
meetings and discussions, including study time (the academic meetings rotate
annually between Mainz and Exeter; in the previous year this meeting took place
in Exeter). PhD students will have the chance to sharpen the methodological and
theoretical focus of their thesis through an intense exchange with peers,
postdocs, and established scholars working in the same or related field of
humanitarianism. The postdocs
will benefit from discussing their research design and publication strategy
with established scholars.
The academic session at Exeter or Mainz is each year followed by a one
week archival session at Geneva. Here the archives of the ICRC offer a unique
insight into humanitarian action during the past 150 years. The holdings provide
rich material, including visual material, for the history of international
affairs in the ages of nation states, empires and global governance,
particularly the study of humanitarianism, humanitarian law, conflicts studies
as well as related issues such as human rights. Under the guidance of
experienced archive staff, the members of the Research Academy will study
primary sources related to the previous discussions at Exeter as well as to their
own research projects if applicable.
Opportunities may also be provided for intensive discussions with active
members of the ICRC staff and other Geneva based humanitarian organisations.
Each selected academy fellow receives the cost of travel to Mainz
and accommodation in Mainz and Geneva. Academy fellows will be asked to
purchase their travel to Geneva as proof of their commitment to attending the
The Research Academy
invites applications for the 2019 Global
Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) from PhD students and early
postdocs. The Steering Committee will select up to 12 participants. Applicants
must be able to certify that they are fluent in both written and spoken English,
the Academy’s working language. Participants of the international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy will be chosen
by the Steering Committee on the basis of
a cover letter (maximum 350 words)
setting out the applicant’s motivation for participating in the academy
and indicating the anticipated outcome of their research;
a statement (maximum 1,000 words)
summarizing their research project;
a brief curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages);
letters from appropriate referees.
This application should be compiled by the applicant and the whole set of papers including reference letters should be submitted as a single PDF, with the file saved as ‘LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.PDF’. To apply, please send your application consisting of one pdf-document with the Subject “Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy” to the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2018.