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This paper builds on research undertaken on humanitarian medical work over the past twenty years to reflect on how humanitarians have positioned themselves in relation to risk taking in warzone. Building on a paper written with Laure Humbert it asks how the medical care under fire turn of the 2000s reflected shifting geopolitical positioning of humanitarian organisations and how it impacted how humanitarians negotiate access to war victims. This talk will take examples from well documented conflicts while also reflecting on the ambiguous relations between the military and humanitarians.

Bertrand Taithe is professor of Cultural History at the University of Manchester and a founder member of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. He works on the history of humanitarian aid and of its representations. His most recent articles and books include:  L’Humanitaire s’exhibe – The Humanitarian Exhibition (Geneva, 2022); and 'The Politics of Catholic Humanitarian Aid: Missionaries and American relief in Algeria 1942-1947', French History (2023). He is a co-investigator of the ‘Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare’ and ‘Colonial and Transnational Intimacies’ projects, and Principal Investigator of the Wellcome discovery Award ‘Developing Humanitarian Medicine: History Writing and Attacks on Healthcare'. The full list of his publications can be found online.

All welcome- but booking is required.

Please note that registration for this seminar will close 24 hours in advance. Details about how to join the seminar will be circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.