07 Dec 2022
12:15  - 14:00

online Zoom

Guest lecture / Talk

Histories of Humanitarian Imagery

Prof. Lilie Chouliaraki (London School of Economics and Political Science)

In this presentation, I provide a brief history of humanitarian imagery. Drawing on campaigns of the aid and development sector in the past 50 years, I explore the changing historical registers and shifting representations of the causes they communicate and I reflect on what implicit assumptions these entail about definitions of humanity, colonial histories and the role of the humanitarian sector as an agent of civic pedagogy for the publics it addresses. Such historical trends, I argue, are about much more than the people and “stories” they represent. They offer important lessons about the shifting power relations of global geopolitics, citizenship norms and ethics of solidarity in western societies from decolonization to today.

If you would like to listen to this guest lecture, please contact Dr. Christiane Schlote to obtain the necessary Zoom link.


Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work focuses on the ethical and political complexities of communicating human suffering in the media with particular emphasis on four domains in which suffering appears as a problem of communication: disaster news; humanitarian and human rights advocacy; war & conflict reporting and migration news. Her most recent book is “Wronged! The politics of victimhood” (submitted for publication in Columbia University Press). Other book publications include "Discourse in Late Modernity" (1999), "The Spectatorship of Suffering’"(2006), "The Soft Power of War" (ed., 2008), "The Ironic Spectator. Solidarity in the Age of Post-humanitarianism" (2013, "The Routledge Handbook of Humanitarian Communication" (2021) and "The Digital Border. Migration, Technology, Power" (New York University Press, 2022). Lillie has also published more than seventy articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes with her work being translated in several languages. She is the recipient of a number of teaching and research excellence awards, including the Outstanding Book of the Year award of the International Communication Association (for "The Ironic Spectator. Solidarity in the Age of Post-humanitarianism"), and a lifetime Fellowship of the International Communication Association (2020).

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