On October 13, the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies, PRIO and Lillehammer University College (HiL) will host the inaugural Humanitarian Studies Colloquium. The Humanitarian Studies Colloquium is a quarterly forum for scholarly discussion of methodological and thematic issues in the emergent field of humanitarian studies. The Colloquium is organized in collaboration with the Humanitarianism Research Group at PRIO, and is open to invited participants.

The disciplinary focus of this first colloquium will be historical. The participants will provide insights into why and how historians have primarily dealt with the history of development aid, and only recently started to study humanitarian aid. In short, while there has been a longstanding and substantial historical engagement with the evolution of the development field (bistandssektoren) and the role and practices of Norwegian governmental and civil society actors, limited academic attention has been given to the specific trajectories, organizational shifts and narratives of actors in the Norwegian humanitarian field (nødhjelpssektoren). In this colloquium we will explore the reasons for this knowledge gap through short presentations on the similarities and differences between academic engagements with the humanitarian and the development field. Through invited presentations, the colloquium will also undertake a mapping of the questions, problems and actors addressed in the fragmented literature on the Norwegian humanitarian field.


Welcome and background of “Humanitarian Studies Colloquium”: Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO / IKRS-UiO)

Introduction: Jørgen Jensehaugen (HiL)

Presentation: “Humanitarian Help: A parallel history to the history of development aid”, Helge Pharo (IAKH-UiO/IFS)

Presentation: Eldrid Mageli (Røde Kors)

Discussant: Sunniva Engh (IFS)

Discussant: Øystein Rolandsen (PRIO)

Q & A

Note: This event will be held in Norwegian. Participation will be by invitation only.