This is some of the research on which the Centre and our associates are currently working :
Power and Humanity: contesting notions of human rights and humanitarianism in North America
Partnership with the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
A network of scholars based at Carleton University and the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University in Berlin have been working the creation of an Canadian-German International Research Training Group (IRTG) based on a project for collaborative student mobilization. The project is entitled Power & Humanity: Contesting notions of human rights and humanitarianism in North America. iIt aims to provide an innovative structure for joint supervision and training of advanced graduate students from both universities (and other partners), as well as situate Carleton University as a hub for international research based on the core themes of the IRTG. Those themes revolve around the North American nexus of the cultural, social, legal, religious and political dimensions of the history of human rights and humanitarianism.
The proposed CU/FU partnership, around which an even wider network will eventually be built, involves joint supervision of students from both institutions, shared seminars, summer schools, training regimes, and research agendas, as well as a structural insistence on interdisciplinarity and multilingual exchange. Thematically, the ITRG will bring together students interested in studying the complex and clearly contradictory encounters with human rights and humanitarianism that the countries involved have experienced, and to use that knowledge to better understand the shape and trajectory of the concept of “humanity” under the conditions of globalization.
We organized a workshop on September 18-19, 2017 at Carleton and gathered again in Berlin in February 2018. A third workshop is scheduled for September 2018 at Carleton.
Franny Nudelman: Experiments in radical democracy
This book project examines the role of documentarians in the struggle against U.S. militarism and, specifically, the movement to end the war in Vietnam. This book focuses on two interrelated developments that tempered the lived experience of most Americans during the post-WWII years: first, the intensifying threat of nuclear war; second, the advent of psychological warfare. I explore innovations in the field of radical documentary as artists and activists found ways to describe and to challenge a new militarism characterized, on the one hand, by the “unthinkable” threat of planetary destruction and, on the other, by efforts to disassemble and reconstruct the mind. Recently published essays drawn from this project include “‘Marked for Demolition’: Mary McCarthy’s Vietnam Journalism” in American Literature (June 2013), “Against Photography: Susan Sontag’s Vietnam” in Photography and Culture (Winter 2014), and “New Soldiers and Empty Boys: Imaging Traumatic Memory” forthcoming in Visual Studies (June 2015).
Andrew M. Johnston: Zurich 1919: Feminist pacifism and world peace
As part of a wider project on the cultural history of internationalism (supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant), I am writing a manuscript on the Zurich Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in May 1919. This gathering of international feminist pacifists took place as a shadow peace conference during the larger show in Paris. WILPF members had wanted in 1915 to meet in the same city as the main gathering but Paris was only open to members of the Entente and its friends. The Zurich Congress enabled women from both sides of the war, and activists from neutral countries, to meet to propose new ways of conceiving of peace that directly engaged issues of social justice as the foundations of international stability. Moreover, the Zurich meeting provided some of the earliest and most trenchant critiques of the structure of peace—including the form of the League of Nations—emerging from Paris. Thereafter, the WILPF set up a permanent office in Geneva to lobby the League and promote pacifist education and peaceful international interaction as a solvent to postwar tensions. The WILPF remains one of the leading global feminist peace organizations, with offices in New York, and, still, in Geneva. This is an idea that, more broadly, aims to establish the intellectual and political-economic governing liberal internationalism in the late 19th century and trace its limits during and after the First World War. The larger project involves an examination of the transnational communities of different forms and ideological orientations of internationalism spanning the North Atlantic that not only failed to stop the collapse of international comity in 1914, but were inadvertently part of the social resurgence of nationalism that impelled the war itself. Central to these crossed histories were divergent conceptions of rights: on the one hand, liberal international purported to be based on a democratization of global governance; on the other, it was continually implicated in new forms of imperialism. This created a tension at the heart of the post-Great War order between liberal conceptions of civic/political rights and social/cultural rights of collective self-determination.
Priscilla Walton: Dialing 911: American Culture Post 9/11.
Melissa Haussman: Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth-Control, RU-486, Morning-After Pills and the Gardasil Vaccine to the US Market (Praeger, 2013).
Miranda Brady: Indigenous (Re)presentations: Studies in history, media, image, and discourse and Mediating the Aboriginal Museum: Comparisons in national and tribal exhibition technologies
Neil Gerlach: Making Biosubjects
Michel Hogue: Métis, Fur Trade History, the North American West, and borderlands studies
Rob Holton: Linked discourses of conformism and alienation and postwar American culture.
James Miller: The slave trade, plantation societies and abolition movements in the Atlantic world
Chris Russill: Climate change communication