P151
Historicizing Humanitarianism, Development, and Colonial Legacies

Convenors:
Jeremy Rich (Marywood University)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
KH212
Start time:
29 June, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel will explore the political, social, and cultural dimensions of transnational humanitarian aid. How humanitarian organizations framed and engaged in political questions related to colonialism and its varied legacies is a theme that ties our different contributions together.

Long abstract:

With a few notable exceptions (the Biafra secession come to mind), scholars have only begun to explore humanitarian aid in the colonial era and the first decades of independence in Africa. These presentations will explore the political, social, and cultural dimensions of transnational humanitarian aid. How humanitarian organizations framed and engaged in political questions related to colonialism and its varied legacies is a theme that ties our different contributions together. How humanitarian organizations grappled with question of first trying to set parameters on colonial policies is one topic of interest to us. Another theme is how did humanitarian and development programs conceive of the legacies of colonialism. David Gordon (Bowdoin College, USA) analyzes the failures of the famed Congo Reform Association's attacks on Leopold II's rule in Congo, particularly in building a durable movement. Lyn Schler (Ben-Gurion University, Israel) will examine Israeli aid projects in Zambia designed on the kibbutz model in the 1960s and 1970s. Israeli conceptions of socialism, decolonization, and development remain little-known in the larger literature on development and humanitarianism in Africa. Jeremy Rich (Marywood University, USA)'s presentation explores the political dynamics of how North American Protestant aid workers supported Angolan refugees in the DR Congo from 1960 to 1967. Despite aid workers' claims of neutrality, their anti-colonialism led them to back Angolan rebels and they sometimes became embroiled in divisions between rebel leaders. We are open to other presenters as well.