black text on brown kraft paper showing a postal stamp

1944 (circa) Red Cross ‘PRISONERS PARCEL’ cut out with pre-printed from Switzerland and with red THE CANADIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY h/s at left. Scarce, Steve Drewett Stamp auction, .

Instructor: Professor Dominique Marshall


A history of international humanitarian activities and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, with particular attention to Canadian involvement.

The course is tagged for experiential learning and capped at 50 students.

(Field e). Prerequisite(s): a 2000-level history course or third-year standing and 1.0 credit in history. Lectures and group work, three hours a week.

Class Format:

A combination of lectures on international and Canadian Humanitarian Aid and work with local Non-Governmental Organizations. Students will work in groups of six which will each produce a historical document to the specifications of one of eight NGO partners of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History (CNHH).[1]

These partners will visit the class twice, once as a preparatory meeting with their respective teams of students, and once with a meeting with all the class and all partners for a capstone event of presentation of the results.  When possible, the students will  be invited to visit the offices of the agencies with whom they are paired.


Aims and Goals:

The course will provide a tremendous opportunity to combine learning about the history of humanitarian aid, learning some skills of applied history, and putting both immediately into practice for a meaningful and useful purpose.



The results of the work with NGOs will take different forms depending on the needs of the organizations: from materials for their website (chronology, virtual exhibit, digitized document), to material for their strategic evaluation, catalogue of their documents, interviews of their veterans, bibliography concerning their history, etc.) The mark will be a combination of self-mark by the student individually, the instructor, the group and the NGO.  In addition, the material given in lectures and readings will be tested in a mid-term examination.



One chapter or article a week, distributed through the library reserves.

Questions? Please email me at: .  To have a good impression of the type of research that will be addressed, also have a look at the website of the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History: