Global Humanitarianism and Media Culture


Re. Framing Activism‘s readers are sure to want to know about an upcoming conference on Global Humanitarianism and Media Culture. It will be held at the University of Sussex, 6-8 February 2015, is supported by the School of Media, Film and Music and the Sussex Centre for the Visual and is co-organised by our original editor Rachel Tavernor with Michael Lawrence . Details are given below.

Keynote speakers:

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki (London School of Economics)
Author of The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-humanitarianism (2012) and The Spectatorship of Suffering (2006)

Professor Suzanne Franks (City University London)
Author of Reporting Disasters – Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media (2013)

Dr. Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex)
Author of Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship (2014)

PLUS: a special screening of the previously banned Save the Children Fund Film (Ken Loach, 1971)
[with Juliano Fiori, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Adviser, Save the Children]

This conference intends to bring together scholars and students working across a range of disciplines to consider the relationships between global humanitarianism and media culture from a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives. As Keith Tester has argued, modern humanitarianism and the institutions and technologies of media culture are inextricably entwined. In recent decades various scholars have analysed the relationship between media representations and moral sentiments, from the emergence of “humanitarian narratives” in the eighteenth century (Thomas Lacquer) to the “humanitarian optics” of today (Eyal Weizman). This conference seeks to contribute to our understanding of the histories and futures of global humanitarianism by focusing attention on diverse intersections between media technologies and what Didier Fassin has called “the politics of precarious lives.”

We welcome proposals for twenty-minute scholarly or practice presentations that consider global humanitarianism’s media cultures, including but not limited to print media, film, photography, television, video and digital media.

Please send abstracts (250 words) plus short bio to

Deadline for abstracts: 30 October 2014

For more information, go to

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