Humanitarianism and Media: 1900 to the Present | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Humanitarianism and Media: 1900 to the Present

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Volume 9

New German Historical Perspectives

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Humanitarianism and Media

1900 to the Present

Edited by Johannes Paulmann

316 pages, 34 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-961-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-808-5 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (January 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78533-962-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Humanitarianism & Media proves to be a very insightful, well-written, and interesting book, which is recommendable to students and researchers involved in history and media and communication sciences in general, and the fields of humanitarianism, advocacy, journalism, and their intersections in particular. While the work does not really offer any completely new theories or concepts, it questions existing ones and lays an inspiring foundation for more in-depth, structural and critical historical research on the theme.” • Communications

“This very readable volume must be considered as an important contribution to a history of humanitarian activities. The contributors managed to use productively theories from media- and communication studies and, in addition, offer methodically fresh ideas for historical picture and film analysis.” • H-Soz-Kult

“Nationalsocialst concentration camps and aerial warfare, famines during postcolonialism and the Spanish Civil War, all of which prevent comparable analysis for good reasons, remain separated because of borders, linguistic barriers or academic specialization, find here in pictures of “the pain of others” (Susan Sontag) their common point of reference. Not only specialists of human right (as well as Childhood Studies) and the history of photography would benefit from the thoughts and reflections offered here: in the age of visual communication this volume has set new standards.” • Sehepunkte

“Based on substantial archival research and informed by relevant theoretical debates, this thought-provoking volume engages the reader in an interdisciplinary exploration of the central role the media have played for humanitarian initiatives, contributing significantly to recent scholarship on the subject”. • Nina Berman, Arizona State University

“This volume consists of timely, useful, original contributions by historians, media scholars and anthropologists that will be essential reading for students”. • Davide Rodogno, Graduate Institute of Geneva


From Christian missionary publications to the media strategies employed by today’s NGOs, this interdisciplinary collection explores the entangled histories of humanitarianism and media. It traces the emergence of humanitarian imagery in the West and investigates how the meanings of suffering and aid have been constructed in a period of evolving mass communication, demonstrating the extent to which many seemingly new phenomena in fact have long historical legacies. Ultimately, the critical histories collected here help to challenge existing asymmetries and help those who advocate a new cosmopolitan consciousness recognizing the dignity and rights of others.

Johannes Paulmann is Director of the Leibniz Institute of European History at Mainz (Germany). He was Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow 2014-15 at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and he edited Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid in the Twentieth Century (2016).

Subject: Media StudiesHistory: 20th Century to Present


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