Humanitarianism and Postcoloniality: A Look at Academic Texts

Southern Responses to Displacement

In this blog post Southern Responses’ Research Associate, Dr Estella Carpi, uses her experience of teaching humanitarianism in Lebanon, Turkey and Italy, to examine how ‘northern-born’ theories and frameworks of humanitarianism interact with the ‘cultural dispositions’ of students and how, in turn, these interactions influence student responses to humanitarian teaching. 

In this post, I draw on my experiences of teaching humanitarianism in Lebanon, Turkey and Italy to explain how the long established theoretical framework of humanitarianism, that increasingly populates academic books and media outlets, does not meet its listeners identically. In this vein, the Southern Responses project makes the effort to decentralise the mainstream humanitarian narrative. However, understanding southern responses to displacement does not merely mean explaining in class new approaches to displacement and models of care in school and academic programmes.

I believe teaching humanitarianism particularly tests the students’ cultural dispositions – dually meant as both habitus and cultural…

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