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Events by the Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network


Intersections of Humanitarianism, AHN workshop
01-03 November 2019, Goettingen

We are thrilled to share the final programme of the AHN kickoff workshop “Intersections of Humanitarianism”. The workshop is organized by Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network (AHN) of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in cooperation with the Centre for Global Migration Studies Goettingen (CeMIG).

It is supported by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, Council for European Studies at Columbia University, EASA, and CeMIG.

If you wish to join the workshop for the discussions, please register by 28 October by sending an email to cemig(at)uni-goettingen.de. No registration is necessary for attending the keynote lecture.

Download a printable version of the program here: AHN programme “Intersections of Humanitarianism”.

Download conference poster here: Intersections of Humanitarianism poster

Intersections of Humanitarianism
AHN kickoff workshop
Convention Centre by the Observatory, Goettingen

Arrival until 16h

16:00-17:00 Registration
17:00-18:00 Opening of the workshop:

  • Welcome
    Sabine Hess (Georg-August University) and Jens Adam (Georg-August University)
  • Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network
    Carna Brkovic (Georg-August University) and Antonio De Lauri (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen)

18:00-19:30 Keynote talk
Elizabeth C. Dunn (Indiana University, Bloomington): “Humanitarianism and the Manhunt: Migration and Predatory Sovereignty”

20:00 Dinner at the restaurant “Apex Kultur”, Burgstr. 46


09:00-10:45 Intersections between Humanitarianism, Voluntarism, and Activism
Discussant: Sabine Hess (University of Goettingen)

  • Marie Sandberg (University of Copenhagen) and Synnøve Bendixsen (University of Bergen): “Researching Volunteers Beyond Humanitarianism: Doubt, Complexities of Hope and Melancholia”
  • Tess Altmann (University of Southampton): “Healing Charity’s Wounds? Fairness, Gifting and Making Exceptions in an Australian Humanitarian Foodbank”
  • Marijana Hamersak (Institute of Ethnology and Foklore Research): “Humanitarianism and Activism: Reporting Push-Backs at the Balkan Route”
  • Ildiko Zakarias (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and Margit Feischmidt (Hungarian Academy of Sciences): “Refugee Solidarity Beyond Voluntary Initiatives: Limitations and Potentials”

10:45-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-13:00 Scaling Humanitarianism
Discussant: Carna Brkovic (University of Goettingen)

  • Anne-Meike Fechter (University of Sussex): “‘Every Person Counts’: The Problem of Scale in Everyday Humanitarianism”
  • Robin Vandevoordt (University of Oxford): “Subversive Humanitarianism. Rethinking Refugee Solidarity Through Grass-Roots Initiatives”
  • Tom Widger (Durham University): “The humanitarian poor: Poverty, Charity, and Community in Sri Lanka”
  • Jan Grill (University of Valle): “Encountering Compassion. Venezuelan Migrants and Emerging Forms of Humanitarianism in Colombia”

13:00-14:00 Buffet lunch

14:00-15:30 Intersections between Humanitarianism and Security
Discussant: Antonio De Lauri (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen)

  • Pınar H. Şenoğuz (University of Goettingen), Ignacio Fradejas-García (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Covagonda Murias Quintana: “Borders, Infrastructures and Imaginations of Humanitarian Remoteness in Syrian Crisis”
  • Andrea Steinke (Free University Berlin): “Humanitarianism, Development and Security: MINUSTAH and the Triple Nexus in Haiti”
  • Susanne Schmelter (University of Goettingen): “Migration Struggles along the Humanitarian Border. Syrian Displacement in Lebanon and Ways to Travel to Europe”

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Contemporary Experiments with Humanitarianism: Exploring the Role of Consultants and Experts (roundtable)
Discussant: Michi Knecht (University of Bremen)

  • Valeria Hänsel (University of Goettingen): “Monitoring a Space of Confinement and Humanitarianism”
  • Hendrik Simon (IUVENTA Solidarity-At-Sea): IUVENTA´s Story
  • Shakira Bedoya (Danske Bank & ISO): “Standardized Humanitarianism. The Writing and Translating of the International Standard for Business Continuity”


09:00-10:45 Intersections Between Humanitarianism and Religion
Discussant: Anne-Meike Fechter (University of Sussex)

  • Till Mostowlansky (The Graduate Institute Geneva): “Humanitarianism and Muslim Networks in High Asia”
  • Ela Drazkiewicz (Maynooth University): “Moral Economy of Foreign aid: The Catholic Dimension of Polish aid”
  • Alexander Horstmann (Tallin University): “An American Hero: Faith-Based Emergency Health Care in Karen State, Myanmar”
  • Emina Osmandzikovic: “Experience from the Field: Humanitarian Assistance and Islam in Saudi Arabia”

10:45-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:45 Intersections Between Humanitarianism, Human Rights, and the State
Discussant: Jens Adam (University of Goettingen)

  • Jessica Greenberg (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): “Sovereign Bodies: Evidence, Jurisdiction and State Responsibility at the European Court of Human Rights”
  • Tomas Ledvinka (Charles University): “Negotiating ‘Traditional identity’ in Re-Localised Humanitarian Space: The Orientalisation of Yemeni Immigrants in the Contemporary Czech Asylum Regime”
  • Eda Sevinin (Central European University): “Upholding Statist Discourses Through Benevolence: Material and Discursive Practices of Islamically-Oriented Humanitarian Networks in Turkey”

13:00-14:00 Buffet lunch

14:00-15:45 (Decolonizing) Transnational Humanitarianism
Discussant: Ela Drazkiewicz (University of Maynooth)

  • Yasin Emre Kucukkaya (Middle East Technical Uni METU): “Decolonizing the Transnational Humanitarian Governance: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) Program in Turkey”
  • Maria Lidola (University of Konstanz): “Beyond Duty, Solidarity and Crisis: Care, Temporality and Sensitive Encounters in Cuba's International Medical Cooperation with Brazil”
  • Romana Pozniak (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research): “Autoethnography of Humanitarian Work – Between Voluntarism, Humanitarianism and Research “
  • Ekatherina Zhukova (University of Copenhagen): “Private Humanitarian Responses to Disaster Vulnerabilities: The Chernobyl Children from Belarus in Italy”

15:45-16:15 Coffee break

16:15-17:30 Future of the AHN: synergies, panels, publications, research projects, meetings
Chairs: Carna Brkovic (Georg-August University), Antonio De Lauri (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen), and Jelka Gunther (CeMIG)

The Anthropology of Humanitarianism kickoff workshop “Intersections of Humanitarianism” is supported by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, Council for European Studies at Columbia University, EASA, and CeMIG

If you wish to join the workshop for the discussions, please register by 28 October by sending an email to cemig@uni-goettingen.de. No registration is necessary for attending the keynote lecture.