Why and how has humanitarian aid become so popular, widespread and important over the last 75 years? How and to what extent has it influenced external relations and domestic politics of nations in the North and South? How have citizens of an ostensibly more democratic North, and those of the newly independent countries of the South, related to modern charitable endeavours and contributed to their construction? How can this story help us understand the perception that public life and media have become globalized in recent years? Read more
I coordinate this multidisciplinary group of – mainly – Canadian people, interested in the History of humanitarian aid, in academia, archives and NGOs. In May 2017, the CNHH became an affiliated committee to the Canadian Historical Association.
2. History of Oxfam in Canada
Oxfam and CIDA
- ‘CIDA Brings you the World! ‘Children’s Reception of Humanitarian Photographs of Children: 1980-2000”, Panel on Histories of Humanitarianism and (Visual) Media, Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association, University of Regina, 29 May 2018.
- “Oxfam et CIDA: aide humanitaire et formation de l’État canadien 1965-2015”, Communication présentée au colloque “A Samaritan State Rvevisited”, Ottawa, Affaires Globales Canada, 12-13 Décembre 2016.
– Oxfam St John’s
From 2014, I have collaborated with employees and volunteers of Oxfam St John’s to record and start writing their history.
- See the virtual archives we assembled.
- The blog I wrote on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and the retirement of their main worker, Bill Hynd.
- In 2013, I presented the results of my field trip in St. John’s NFLD on October 16 for the “Philanthrothink” series at Carleton. You can watch the “Local and Global Humanitarianism: History of Oxfam in Newfoundland, 1965-2013” podcast here.
– Previous Oxfam projects
In 2012-13, I gave a series of lunch talk at the headquarters of Oxfam.
- “Oxfam and First Nations, 1960-1975,” 1 October 2012. With Julia Sterparn.
- “A Radiography of Canada’s Humanitarian Public in 1962-1963: Oxford’s Lynn Ten-Kate Travels through Canada for Oxfam,” 7 November 2012.
- “The Henry Fletcher Years, 1966 – 1971: Varieties of British Traditions and the Nature of the Tensions Leading to the Independence of Oxfam Canada,” 12 December 2012.
- “ Oxfam Canada’s Independences: Histories on the Autonomy from Oxford and on the Creation of Oxfam Quebec (1962-1980) through Documents,” 13 March 2013.
- “ Oxfam Canada and the Salvadoran Refugees of Honduras, 1980-1989,” 17 April 2013, with Erika Muñoz.
We helped a timeline of the history of Oxfam Canada to build for the NGO’s website in 2016.
In 2013, I worked on Oxfam an Indigenous peoples with the assistance of honours’ research assistant Julia Sterparn. We published the result of our work : “Oxfam Aid to Canada’s First Nations, 1962–1975: Eating Lynx, Starving for Jobs, and Flying a Talking Bird,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol. 22, no. 2, 2012, pp. 298-343.
In 2014 I worked on Oxfam Canada in Honduras in the 1980s, together with Erica Muñoz, honours RA. We presented the result in a paper at the CALACS conference: “Oxfam Canada and the Aid to Salvadoran Refugees in Honduras in the 1980s”
3. Archival Rescue
Since 2014 I have collaborated with Carleton University Archives and Research Collections to rescue and make available the archives of NGOs and humanitarians. this includes the educational collection of CISa materials (2017), the papers of the Match International Women’s Fonds (2015), and the papers of many CIDA veterans. I have also worked with the Canadian Hunger Foundation, Oxfam St Johns, and the CIDA Photolibrary, to help make archives more accessible.
-Papers and slides of John Foster, Past Director of Oxfam, 2016-17
- New Additions to the John William Foster Fonds, 2017, Carleton Archives and Research Collections
- Lantern Slides Reveal Missionary Work in China, 2017
-Papers and Slides of Meyer Brownstone, Past Director of Oxfam , 2013
- The papers of M. Brownstone are now at Archives and Research Collection, at Carleton University, since the summer of 2014. With the help of an I-CUREUS project, honour student Nathan Ince catalogues and digitized the collection.
- You can see the Finding Aid of his papers.
- And each one of 805 of his slides slides together with a small description.
- For a description of the collection an of Meyer’s contribution, read my blog of the Spring of 2014: The papers of Oxfam Canada’s longtime Chair, Meyer Brownstone, are now available.