Humanitarianisms: Global Migrations and Care Through the Global South seeks to decolonize the rhetoric and understanding of humanitarianism by examining the histories of forced migration and practices of humanitarian care for forced migrants, including both ‘conventional’ and ‘humanitarian refugees’, that developed outside of Europe and North America. In order to do so, we are pursuing a comparative examination of these issues through three thematic clusters—Decentering Migration and Decolonizing Humanitarianism, Comparative Humanitarianisms, and Rethinking the Human—each of which builds on the previous cluster and thus creates threads of inquiry that will frame a public speaker series and the work of a faculty and graduate student research group.
The final component of this Sawyer Seminar is an investigation into what new forms of humanity have arisen or may emerge from the articulations of humanitarianisms through the Global South. If Enlightenment ‘humanitarian reason’ was premised on an new- found concern for the suffering of distant others, we believe that this theme, with a focus on the Global South and attention to diverse genealogies of care, may inform new possibilities for understanding the diversity of how people make sense of what it means to be human through encounters with suffering and everyday practices of care. We allow for the possibility that this inquiry will need to embrace and encompass different modalities of life and recognize different ends of humanness, now not only in relation to the suffering of distant others, but also to the supernatural, the environment, other (non-human) species, and even the dead—who are often assumed to be beyond the limits of care. This understanding can prompt us to explore further the forces that underlie our own perceptions of humanness and lead to new ones. Thus, we seek to explore what a rethinking of humanitarianisms’ diverse genealogies tells us about new ways to conceptualize the human in comparative contexts. Therefore, in this final thematic cluster, we ask: How does the affective life of humanitarian administration inform people’s subjective sense of what it means to be human? What does it mean for our common humanity if we take into consideration the multitude of ways that humans interact with their environments? How do these interactions shape their disciplines of care for others?
April 1, 2021 | 3:30-4:30pm PST | RECORDED WEBINAR| Sinan Antoon: "Rescuing the Dead"
April 22, 2021 | 3:30-4:30pm PST |RECORDED WEBINAR | Dean Spade, "Mutual Aid: Radical Care in Crisis Conditions," and Cristian Capotescu, "Echoes of the 'New Soviet Man': Humanity and the Ethics of Giving in Late Socialism"
May 6, 2021 | 3:30-4:30pm PST | RECORDED WEBINAR | Nermeen Mouftah, "Sacrificial Skins: The Value of Pakistan’s Eid al-Azha Animal Hide Collection" and Juno Salazar Parreñas, "Empathy Beyond the Human in an Era of Inhumanity"