Gendering Humanitarian Knowledge

by Responsable éditoriale | 15.03.2018 11:18

The conference invites scholars to think about the notion of “humanitarian knowledge” in a multidisciplinary way, by combining perspectives such as gender history, the histories ofemotions and the body, literary and visual culture studies, global health history, as well as the history of institutions and their agents. All of them are useful to explore the transnational networks through which humanitarian practices and ideas have been promoted, disseminated and standardised.The conference brings together scholars interested in working on the history of humanitarian knowledge from a gender perspective. The interventions deal with stories of flesh and blood, which put women’s and men’s humanitarian experiences at their centre, in order to inscribe their local practices within a global history of compassion from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Friday, 20 April 2018

8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Welcome and Introduction

What history of humanitarian relief?

The faces of compassion in Sarah Monod’s drawings during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)

9:30-10:15 Keynote 1

Introduction: Dolores Martín Moruno (University of Geneva)

Feminism and humanitarianism in contention? Some episodes from British women’s history, c.1880-1940

10:45–12:15 Panel 1. Women Humanitarians: Heroines, Angels or Whores? 

Female humanitarian work during the Carlist War (1872-1876): Concepción Arenal and the Ladies’ Section of Spanish Red Cross

Angels or harridans? Dr Hilda Clark and Edith Pye, female physicians in the First World War

Between holy and whore. Female nursing during WWI

12:15-13:00 Keynote 2

The emotional labour of doing relief work and writing about it: Emily Hobhouse’s ‘martyr complex’, 1899 -1926

14:30-16:00 Panel 2: Female Compassion as Humanitarian Action

Temperance unions for mothers of every nation. Sword of compassion, shield of sisterhood and smashed saloons

An examination of Belgian nurses and godmothers: their emotional battle in the Great War 

Motherly humanitarians and Gold Coast Mothers: the Red Cross and maternal and infant welfare, c.1930-1950

16:30-18:00 Panel 3: Intersectionality Meets Humanitarians Knowledge

British women’s Armenian relief work (1894-1897): An attempt at a multi-layered gendered approach of humanitarian knowledge

Health, gender and the Jewish nation in humanitarian practice after the Great War

Female nurses, male doctors: Gendering humanitarian relief in Southern Republican Spain during the Civil War (1936-1939)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

8:45-9:30 Keynote 3

Gendering the business practices of aristocratic humanitarians, the Stafford House Committee 1875-1885

9:30-11:00 Panel 4: Glocal Reflections on Humanitarian Knowledge

Chair: Valérie Gorin (CERAH/University of Geneva)

Taking care of strangers: feelings of compassivity in Catholic voluntarism among the Daughters of Charity in Spain and Cuba,


A woman’s grace: Emily Keene and British imperialism in Morocco

Humanitarian careers of Swiss women medical graduates in the first half of the 20th century Africa and India

11:30-13.00 Panel 5: Gendering Exiles: Experience as Humanitarian Knowledge

Chair: Luís Manuel Calvo Salgado (University of Zurich)

Gendering the Spanish exile in Post-War France: the surgeon María Gómez in the Hospital Varsovia of Toulouse 

Traumatic pain: air raids, separation anxiety and the influence of Anna Freud’s Hampstead War Nurseries

Ukrainian women in relief work in refugee camps during WWII 

13:00-13:15 Final Discussion

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