Conference on Gender & Humanitarianism at the Leibniz Institute of European History

The international conference at the Leibniz Institute of European History discusses the relationship between gender and humanitarian discourses and practices in the twentieth century. In particular, it analyzes the ways in which constructions and ideologies of gender shaped and were shaped by humanitarian practices, interactions, ideas, bodies, and institutions on local, regional, national and/or global scales. By introducing the analytical category of gender into the historical study of humanitarianism, the conference discusses how (hierarchical) relations between men and women, social and cultural constructions of masculinity/femininity and gendered conceptions of human bodies worked out in the various types of humanitarian organizations (e.g. IOs, NGOs, networks, aid agencies, churches), campaigns, perceptions, works and subjectivities. Focusing on the time between the First World War and the end of the Cold War, the conference 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.

Convenors: Esther Möller (Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (Mainz) and Katharina Stornig (Giessen)

Programmflyer-Gender-and-Humanitarianism (pdf)


 Thursday June 29, 2017

14.00–14.30    Esther Möller (Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (Mainz), Katharina Stornig (Giessen): Welcome and Introduction

I. Masculinities and Femininities in Humanitarian Discourse and Practice (Chair: Ulrike Weckel, Giessen)

14.30–15.30     Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda): Gender and Humanitarian Practices after World War I: Female Scandinavian Relief Workers and Armenian Women Refugees in Lebanon and Syria

15.30–16.30     Maria Lidola (Konstanz): Gender and the Formation of Humanitarian Discourse in the Global South: The Specific Case of Cuban Medical Missions

16.30–17.00     Coffee break

17.00–18.00    Bertrand Taithe (Manchester): Masculine Character and Heroics in Humanitarian Aid: A Long Perspective

18.00–19.00    Kerrie Holloway (London): Where are all the Men in Humanitarian History? A Re-assessment of Field Workers during the Spanish Civil War

20.00                Conference Dinner

Friday June 30, 2017

II. Gender and the Politics of Humanitarianism (Chair: Ulrike Lindner, Cologne)

9.00–10.00     Ceren Ayguel (Istanbul/Mainz): The Interplay between Ottoman Red Crescent, Women’s Movement and Nationalism in the Ottoman State during World War One

10.00–11.00     Francesca Piana (London): Women and Medical Humanitarian Aid in the Interwar Period

11.00–11.30      Coffee Break

11.30–12.30      Maria Framke (Rostock): Non-Governmental Relief Organizations in Postcolonial India and Pakistan: Redrawing the Boundaries of Gender in Terms of Femininity and Masculinity?

12.3o–13.30     Nora Derbal (Berlin): Humanitarian Service in the Name of Social Development: Women’s Welfare Associations in Saudi Arabia

13.30                 Lunch

III. Gendered Bodies, Sexual Violence and Humanitarian Responses (Chair: Manfred Sing, Mainz)

15.00–16.00    Jadwiga Pieper Mooney (Tucson): Asymmetries of Care: Power, Populations, and Peace Corps Projects in Bolivia

16.00–17.00    Nayanika Mookherjee (Durham): Humanitarianism and Orientalising Wartime Sexual Violence

 17.00–17.30     Coffee Break

 17.30–18.30     Sonja Dolinsek (Erfurt):From “White Slavery” to “Sexual Slavery”: Framing Women’s Sexual Labour in Transnational Migrations from the 1960s to the 1980s

Saturday July, 1 2017

IV. Gendering Humanitarian Work for Children (Chair: John Wood, Mainz)

 9.00–10.00     Beth Baron (New York): Medical Missionaries, Gendered Bodies, and Infant Mortality in Interwar Egypt

10.00–11.00     Nazan Maksudyan (Berlin):The Orphan Nation: Armenian Children in Istanbul (1919–1922)

11.00–11.30      Coffee Break

11.30–12.30      Joelle Droux (Geneva):Labour of Love? Gender Roles in Humanitarian Careers and Practices at the Save the Children International Union (1920–1945)

12.30–13.00     Concluding Remarks

13.00                Light Lunch

Supported by

Fritz Thyssen Foundation


OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Johannes Paulmann (June 7, 2017). Conference on Gender & Humanitarianism at the Leibniz Institute of European History. Europe Across Borders. Retrieved July 23, 2024 from

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