hum.5.1_front_smKathryn Libal and Samuel Martínez of the University of Connecticut have edited a trailblazing dossier on gender and humanitarianism. After posing the issues in an introduction, Libal and Martínez present contributors addressing a range of relevant topics, from sugar boycotts that were part of antislavery movements in the nineteenth century to Madonna’s “humanitarian adoption” and contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The issue also includes a photo essay by Greg Constantine, commentary on Constantine’s photos, and a review essay on torture.


Introduction: The Gender of Humanitarian Narrative

The editors of the special dossier on gender and humanitarian issues explain the motivations and main themes of the sequence of essays. Read More »

Bleeding Humanity and Gendered Embodiments: From Antislavery Sugar Boycotts to Ethical Consumers

Mimi Sheller returns to sugar and other boycotts in the era of antislavery—with their gendering of consumer action—and how they might help put contemporary Fair Trade movements in historical and political perspective.Read More »

The Rhetoric of Revelation: Sex Trafficking and the Journalistic Exposé

Soderlund provides a rhetorical analysis of tropes that pervade contemporary discourses of sex trafficking, relating them to past humanitarian sensibility and a gendered narrative of expose and rescue.Read More »

On "Humanitarian" Adoption (Madonna in Malawi)

Kerry Bystom examines the celebrated case of Madonna's adoptions to highlight celebrity involvement with African children and how such prominent practices of humanitarian adoption intersect conceptions of gender and family.Read More »

Old Questions in New Boxes: Mia Kirshner's I LIVE HERE and the Problematics of Transnational Witnessing

The authors provide a close analysis of contemoprary Canadian actress Mia Kirshner's I Live Here project and how it moves ambiguously between building alliances for progressive humanitarianism while also silencing its objects of attention and inserting them in familiar tropes in an era of transnational witnessing.Read More »

Taking Better Account: Contemporary Slavery, Gendered Narratives, and the Feminization of Struggle

Taking up campaigns on behalf of Haitians and people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, Martínez explores how gendered notions of rescue and salvation obstruct a better understanding of political organization and agency among those reduced to being victims in key humanitarian representations.Read More »

Photo Essay: Nowhere People

Photographer Greg Constantine presents selections from two sets of his work, one called "Nowhere People" (on contemporary statelessness) and the other called "Nubians in Kenya" (depicting their political situation and everyday life).Read More »

Emergent Human Rights Contexts: Greg Constantine's "Nowhere People"

The authors provide a commentary on Greg Constantine's photographs.Read More »

What We Talk About When We Talk About Torture

Tobias Kelly discusses recent works on torture.Read More »