Dr Laure Humbert

Lecturer in Modern History

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Research interests

I am a historian of modern Europe, and am particularly interested in the history of humanitarianism.  My doctoral thesis was a study of French approaches to the problem of  Displaced Persons (DPs) in post-war Germany. This thesis explores the interactions between French diplomats, occupation officials and representatives of newly-created UN agencies, firstly the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and later the International Refugee Organisation (IRO). Drawing on a vast range of material from French, British, German and UN archives, it illuminates the role of distinctive diplomatic strategies, economic requirements and cultural differences in shaping understandings and practices of refugee humanitarianism in the aftermath of the Second World War.

My next project will explore international medical cooperation during the Second World War, through an examination of close bodily encounters between medical staff and patients in various sites across the world. Drawing on the methodologies associated with the global micro-history turn, it focuses on different medical spaces set up by the French external Resistance in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. This includes the international Hadfield Spears hospital.

Finally, I am working on a  project with Dr. Alison Carrol (Brunel) that will investigate the place of minorities in the making of post-war Europe with a comparative study of two groups on the margins of memory: the Alsatian Malgré-Nous and the Banatais from central-eastern Europe. 


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display