On the road to the Conference on Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid, 1950-2016

I am delighted to have joined Greg Donaghy (Global Affairs Canada) and David Webster (Bishops) in the organization of the Conference “A Samaritan State” Revisited-Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid, 1950-2016“, Ottawa, Canada, 12-13 Dec. 2016.


In preparation for the conference, Sonya DeLaat and I have written a blog on the wonderful photo library of CIDA.


The Canadian Network on humanitarian History is also preparing a workshop on the archives of CIDA on the morning of December 12.  Archivists from Library and Archives Canada, Document management people from CIDA, and historians used to working with the Fonds will share tips and knowledge.

Picture taken by Keith Spicer during his travel in South East Asia, 1960. Personal collection.

Picture taken by Keith Spicer during his travel in South East Asia, 1960. Personal collection.

I will present a paper on «Oxfam Canada et l’ACDI: aide humanitaire et formation de l’État canadien, 1960″

The CNHH new Research Assistant and I have been busy working with Keith Spicer and his son Dag to put together a small virtual exhibit about the travel which lead to his book and the formation of Canadian University Students Overseas (CUSO).



Mon article sur les dessins d’enfants et l’aide humanitaire vient de paraître

“Discours présidentiel: Dessins d’enfants et aide humanitaire : expressions et expositions transnationales/ Presidential Address: Children’s Drawings and Humanitarian Aid: Transnational Expressions and Exhibits”, Revue de la Société historique du Canada/Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 2016, pp. 1-65.  Pour l’article en ligne, cliquez ICI.

RÉSUMÉ  Cet article propose un tour d’horizon des usages des dessins d’enfants dans l’histoire de l’aide humanitaire à l’aide d’exemples, du Canada et d’ailleurs, tirés des recherches de l’auteure. Il se penche à la fois sur les usages des dessins par diverses organisations au cours des dernières décennies et sur les emplois que les historiens en ont faits.  À l’aide d’outils empruntés à plusieurs disciplines, il propose des clefs de compréhension qui permettent de réfléchir à l’histoire de la psychologie enfantine, de la pédagogie, de l’art enfantin, des relations humanitaires entre générations, des droits des enfants et des perceptions juvéniles lors d’interventions humanitaires. Il dresse un historique du médium, de ses promoteurs ainsi que de ses détracteurs et propose un ensemble de pistes pour identifier, malgré les obstacles, des traces d’expressions enfantines.

Écoutez mon entrevue à “3600 secondes d’histoire”, CHYZ, Radio étudiante de l’Université Laval, 25 février 2016

À l’occasion du colloque des étudiants diplômés en histoire de l’Université Laval, ARTEFACT, où j’ai donné la conférence d’ouverture, le programme “3600 secondes d’histoire” a consacré une heure à l’histoire de la notion des droits des enfants. Un grand merci à l’animatrice Myriam Cyr et à la co-animatrice Hadjer Remili.


Le blog de l’émission est ICI.

Le programme du colloque est ICI.

Ma présentation s’intitulait « Aide humanitaire et monde commun : Pratiques et perceptions quotidiennes au Canada du XXe siècle ».  Résumé: Au début des années 1960, la maison mère d’OXFAM envoya Lynn Ten Kate, l’une des fondatrices des fameux magasins d’articles usagers, enquêter à travers le Canada sur l’état des énergies humanitaires, en vue d’inaugurer le premier chapitre de l’ONG en dehors du Royaume-Uni. Les notes de son voyage de neuf mois, envoyées chaque mois à Oxford, dressent un portrait bariolé des attitudes de multiples communautés canadiennes vis-à-vis des pays de l’hémisphère sud. Entre parades de Noël, émissions de radio communautaires, spectacles rock et mobilisations universitaires, elle décrit avec optimisme et candeur des pratiques humanitaires quotidiennes au moment où l’avenir des organisations gouvernementales était incertain. En plus de passages de ses rapports, cette présentation inclut des extraits d’une entrevue avec Ten Kate en 2010, de même que des traces de son périple retrouvées dans les archives et les journaux. L’histoire de Ten Kate donne l’occasion de réfléchir sur les transformations profondes des aspects transnationaux de la culture politique canadienne.



The First Newsletter of the Canadian Network of Humanitarian History is Out

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Welcome to the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History Newsletter

Dear colleagues of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History,

It is my pleasure to announce the launch of the network’s website.  Please have a look at , and use the form “contact us” to send suggestions, events, blogs and images.  The site was the product of the reflection conducted in Ottawa last May during the second workshop of the network.  Three research assistants mentioned here then helped to put it together.  We hope that it is useful to you, your colleagues and students.  We have a rich list of blogs lined up for the coming six months, with places left if you are planning on sending one.  The latest was written by our current RA, Sean Eedy, on the time when Germans were refugees and not hosts.  Read it here.

Upcoming Events

The network’s third workshop will take place in Calgary after Congress, on Thursday June 2, from 8:30-5:00.  It will be free, but please register here.  We yet have to tell you in exactly which room of the University, but we have it booked together with catering, and a special event on the Wednesday evening before, when the Network was invited to introduce the conference of Romeo Dallaire, organized by our hosts in Calgary (more to come). It will be an occasion to plan future research and events, and to take store of existing projects.

The 2016 Canadian Historical Association Congress will be held May 29-June 1.  Members of the Network will be presenting paper at the “Aid, Advocacy, Development, and Faith in the Pre-Digital Age” panel (scheduling to be determined).

Ongoing Research

In the wake of last year’s Congress in Ottawa, historians, NGO workers and archivists volunteered to put together a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to foster historical work with NGOs. The news of the competition will come in March. Whichever way this decision comes down, research is happening. At the moment, from the Network itself, Carleton honours students Eleanor Barney, is working as an undergraduate RA to provide the Partnership Africa Canada Communications Director, Zuzia Danielski, a report of the PAC’s history for use as part of their 30th anniversary plans.

The work of archival description of the 160 Match International boxes for Carleton Archives and Research Collections continues. This will help prepare for the activities of their upcoming anniversary. The network also helped to preserve archives and memories when the Canadian Hunger Foundation closed last fall. See the post on this here.

Since our last meeting the CNHH is richer of more than a dozen new members.  You can see the growing list here. If you don’t see your name, please send me a message through our website’s contact form, or by replying to this message.


Dominique Marshall

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La Canadian Historical Review vient de publier ma Réponse à l’article “The Tragedies of Canadian International History” par David Meren

Abstract: This commentary provides nuance to David Meren’s historiographical overview, downplaying the seriousness of the gaps noted by the author. It also draws attention to authors who have received traditionally less attention in the broader area of the history of Canadian international relations, but who should be included within the more encompassing course charted by the article.



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