Prof Bertrand Taithe

Professor of Cultural History

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Research interests

I am currently completing an ESRC funded research project on charity in Victorian Britain with Dr Julie-Marie Strange and Dr Sarah Roddy and a reseacrh project on UN security data with Professor Roger MacGinty (HCRI). My next book entitled The Humanitarians a History will be a history of humanitarian practices and technologies.  My research interests are primarily on humanitarianism and humanitarian aid practices.  A co-founder of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (hcri.ac.uk) I am interested in the history of medicine, the history of missions and colonisation in the French colonial empire between the Second Empire and 1939 and the history of humanitarian aid more widely defined.  

 Research

My research began with Henry Mayhew and London Labour and the London Poor.   I then moved on to study the history of medicine and war.  My first monograph, devoted to the history of Paris during the sieges, was consistent with my earlier work on urban representations and invited a reflection on the history of modernity and the city. Through my interdisciplinary work as a teacher we embarked on a collective venture on the Arcades Project work of Walter Benjamin. Our project, published as Benjamin's Arcades an Unguided Tour represented the congruence of our research interests in a given moment in the history of ideas.

 A salient feature of this work, namely the history of humanitarianism has now been my central concern since 1999.  It is a broad theme covering the nexus of humanitarianism and war over a long period of at least 130 years, and for the later period médecins sans frontières.  

Projects

Research and projects