Humanitarian Organizations: (Hi)Stories, Impact and Challenges

Humanitarian Organizations: (Hi)Stories, Impact and Challenges

International Conference
( Zoom sessions:2 days-Virtual platform:5 days)
(Due to high volume of submissions we added an extra Zoom day)

Thematic Approach

GIRES, the Global Institute for Research, Education & Scholarship creates a welcoming space for discussion and exploration of the rich history of the humanitarian organizations and their work during times of distress. 

Our new international conference seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners in order to remember stories from the long history of humanitarian assistance offered by organizations such as UNICEF, International Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal, Oxfam and Doctors without Frontiers in all over the world.  We wish to explore their impact in shaping global citizenship and highlight the importance of their work for the support of people both in conflicts and natural catastrophes. In desperate times not only they have overcame the (geo)political and national obstacles and helped people survive but also protected legacies by recording stories and memories creating unique sources of information. 

We hope that during our conference we will shed light upon cases and stories that will help us understand not only the ways the organizations supported homeless, starving, and wounded people but also safeguarded unique evidence that in many cases was later used in trials against the authorities and saved the memory of the incidents for future generations. We also hope that we will present the work of the unnamed heroes who, despite difficulties and hostility, helped their fellow citizens survive and set a reminder of the universal importance of humanitarian aid.

We invite scholars from different fields including history, philosophy, religion, sociology, international relations, literature, art, space studies, peace studies, cultural studies, minority studies, war and/or genocide studies, journalism, immigration studies, psychology and psychiatry, political and social studies, and those working in archives, museums and NGOs.

Proposed Topics

-Volunteerism and professionalism in humanitarian aid; boundaries and limitations
-Historiography and humanitarian aid
-First-hand experiences/ material (including photos, videos and documents)
-Re-examining and re-writing history through the lens of Red Cross/Crescent stories
-Ethical dilemmas in practicing humanitarian aid
-Exploring the Red Cross/Crescent archives: (un)hidden treasures
-Aid workers: dealing with trauma
-The psychology of a aid workers/help seekers
-Teaching humanitarian history
-The role of the movement in modern migration crisis
-Case studies of humanitarian assistance (conflicts and natural disasters)
-Humanitarian aid workers: their role in saving oral testimonies and shaping history
-Arts and humanitarianism
-Humanitarian aid during the Covid-19 pandemic
-Technology in the service of humanitarianism
-States/Regimes against humanitarian organizations 

Proposed Formats (Lingua franca: English)
-Individual papers (GIRES will included it in a panel)
-Panels (up to 4 presentations-chaired by one of the presenters or appointed by GIRES)
-Roundtable presentations (chaired by one of the presenters or appointed by GIRES)
-Poster presentations
-Student presentations (one paper presented by up to 3 young scholars)
-Keynote speech (depending on the time availability)
-Pre-recorder presentation (s) (Asynchronous Platform)
-Pre-recorder presentation (s) (Synchronous-live- Sessions: live participation of presenter (s) during the Q&A sessions)

Publication Opportunity 
The Organizing Committee and GIRES Press will publish the most powerful and dynamic presentations of the conference and include them
in a collective volume in the form of short articles and/or long essays. For more information please contact us

Live Sessions Recording
All participants have the option to have their presentations recorded (during live sessions) in HD quality. The recordings will be uploaded to GIRES media for unlimited access and dissemination.

Asynchronous Options
All participants have the option to have their presentations (video/audio/text) uploaded to our Virtual Platform. All  registered participants will have access to the material for 5 days.

Our proposed topics & formats are not restrictive and we invite additional germane ideas
Due to the restrictions of Corona Crisis our event (for the time being) will take place VIRTUALLY

  • Date of Conference

    GIRES Headquarters(GMT+1)
    20-21 February 2021

  • Deadline for proposals

    5 February 2021

  • Acceptance notification

    7 February 2021

  • Publication

    Collective Volume

  • Registration fee

    60 Euros

  • Accreditation

    Official Certificate issued by GIRES