Reinventing Forensic Investigations? ‘Humanitarian’ Medicine and the Corpses of Mass violence On 31 May, we held a session on forensic medicine and the genealogy of exhumations. Chaired by Antoine Burgard (HCRI, University of Manchester), this session brought three great panellists together to think about the development of forensic techniques and knowledge during the ‘long’ Second …

Medical Utopia, Power and Violence in the French Empire

On 24 May, we hosted a session on the theme of colonial medicine, chaired by Martin Thomas (University of Exeter). The session brought together Delphine Peiretti-Courtis, who recently published Corps Noirs et Médecins blancs. La fabrique du préjugé racial XIXe-XXe siècles (Paris : La Découverte, 2021)and Guillaume Lachenal, author of The Doctor Who Would Be …

Fighters and Carers in the Transnational Resistance

This session chaired by Bertrand Taithe, focused on the transnational logics operating in various resistance movements from the Spanish Civil War to the Second World War. While memories often celebrate the national dimension of the fight against the Nazi occupation during World War Two, these three fascinating papers showed important continuities and links between the …

Therapeutic aesthetics?

Chaired by Rebecca Gill (University of Huddersfield), this session examined the links between military and civilian cultures rehabilitation during the ‘long’ Second World War. Since the nineteenth century, humanitarians have encouraged the production of handicrafts by wounded soldiers and displaced people for the purposes of fundraising, overcoming mental strains, ‘re-masculinising’ war victims or fostering ‘national’ …

Hegemonic Humanitarian Aid? Rethinking American Humanitarianism

Our fourth session focused on American power, resistance to and ‘renegotiation’ of this power. As Andrew Buchanan recently argues in ‘Globalizing the Second World War’ (article available here), the single most significant outcome of the ‘long’ Second World War (1931-1953) was the ‘the volcanic eruption of the American nation state and the consolidation of its …

Humanitarian Intimacies: Gender, Care and Humanitarianism

Recent histories have been increasingly interested in the ways in which humanitarian practices, discourses, norms and emotions have been shaped by gendered constructions and hierarchies. The aim of our third session was to take stock of some of these recent historiographical contributions and discuss, through for stimulating papers, how key concepts, such as ‘care’, ‘intimacy’ …

Second Seminar Session: ‘Race, Military Psychiatry and Mental Health’

We held our second seminar on ‘Race, Military Psychiatry and Mental Health’ on 11 January. Chaired by Guillaume Lachenal (Sciences Po), the aim of this seminar was to discuss how specific racial, gendered and environmental tropes fed into psychiatric discourses and practices in the era of the ‘long’ Second World War. The seminar was attended …

First Seminar session: “The Partisans of Humanitarianism: The origins of the ‘Long’ Second World War” – 7 December 2021

On 7 December, 26 of us participated in the first session of our seminar series exploring new approaches to medical care, humanitarianism, and violence during the ‘Long’ Second World War (1931-1953). This first session focused on the origins of the Second World War as seen by partisans of humanitarianism. Thanks to our chair, Jean-François Fayet …

 IHSA Conference – History of attacks on healthcare

Last November, following on our previous workshop on the history of violence against healthcare, we put together a panel focused on the history of attacks on healthcare for the International Humanitarian Studies Association’s annual conference in Sciences Po Paris (program of the conference here: ihsa-conference-schedule; more info about the conference here: https://conference.ihsa.info/ ). Xavier Crombé …