course

This seminar focuses on humanitarian actors, institutions and contemporaries issues. The title refers to 'adventures' since humanitarians themselves referred to their experiences as 'adventures'. This has been the case decades ago as well as in recent years. Why adventures? What kind of adventures? The seminar will offer different levels of analysis, multiple units of analysis, diverse perspectives. Students will be encouraged to use their academic background and warmly invited to try new methodologies. The instructor will use a variety of sources, written, oral and audio-visual. The point of a seminar on the history and politics of humanitarian action is precisely not to exceptionalise humanitarianism but, rather to contextualise it. Sometimes, the work of humanitarian actors was (and is) central, valuable and makes a difference when natural- and man-made disasters occur. Sometimes humanitarian actors and institutions are an epi-phenomenon.