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Night on Earth: The history of humanitarian programs in the fault lines of Western civilization (1918-1938)

Professor Davide Rodogno will present his current book project, a study of the short-term relief programs following the First World War that turned into ante-litteram development projects or state-building attempts. In areas where state sovereignty was conspicuously deficient, interwar international humanitarians ‘administered relief’ and used discourses in ways similar to post-1945 relief and development agencies. The protagonists in this history imagined the thick line that went from the Baltic Sea and Poland to the Balkans and continued farther east to Turkey, Syria and Palestine as the ‘fault lines of Western civilization’. Professor Rodogno will present the objectives, approach, and perspective of his larger project and will discuss case studies in the Caucasus and the Republic of Armenia.

Davide Rodogno is a professor of international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. His work focuses on the history and politics of international organizations, of humanitarianism, of transnational movements, and of philanthropic foundations. He his also a scholar of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Professor Rodogno is the author of Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire, 1815-1914, as well as Fascism’s European Empire: The Italian Occupation during the Second World War and Il nuovo ordine mediterraneo. Le politiche d’occupazione dell’Italia fascista in Europa 1940-1943. His edited volumes include Humanitarian Photography: A History; Shaping the Transnational Sphere: Experts, Networks and Issues from the 1840s to the 1930s; and The League of Nations’ Work on Social Issues: Visions, Endeavours, and Experiments.

Please RSVP to Sara.Silverstein@yale.edu to receive a pdf of Professor Rodogno’s articles that will complement his lecture and our discussion.


Horchow Hall 106 (Seminar Room) 55 Hillhouse Avenue New Haven CT 06511