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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History


From Las Casas to Schweitzer and Angelina Jolie: Faces and Functions of Humanitarianism

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 2:30pm

Oct. 30-31: Nina Berman, Department of Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University

 Hollings Program Room, Thomas Cooper Library

Humanitarianism, as it is pursued mostly in poor nations by international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), governmental and international supragovernmental organizations, as well as a wide range of individuals is very much structured by the principles of conditional support that emerged in the context of colonialism and continue under the auspices of neoliberal globalization. Dr. Berman will explore the historical roots and structures of today’s humanitarianism and draw on her research in Kenya to illustrate the ways in which colonial and paternalistic mindsets continue to structure interaction between (mostly Western) humanitarians and Kenyans. She will also acknowledge historical local forms of solidarity as well as recent trends that strive to develop new collaborative practices to address areas of precarity and privation.