Humanitarian Complicities: Uncovering Intersections with Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and Islamophobia
Humanitarianism has been at the heart of colonial rule. As critical humanitarian studies scholar Craig Calhoun (2008) writes, "France’s mission civilisatrice was understood as humanitarian, bringing civilization to those suffering from the lack of being French or even European. Colonialism was often understood (with no cynicism) as humanitarian” (pp. 77–78).
This session engages humanitarian intervention, discourse, and feeling as governance. Together, the papers uncover axes of power that often animate humanitarian discourses and practices: settler colonialism, white supremacy, and Islamophobia. We aim to unsettle humanitarianism's troubling conditions of possibility in order to rupture powerful state discourses of benevolence and innocence.
This session invites an interdisciplinary and intersectional dialogue that spans histories and geographies.
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