Keith David Watenpaugh F'12
ACLS Fellowship Program 2012
ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies
Department: Religious Studies
University of California, Davis
"Bread from Stones": The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism, 1914-1946
This is the first historical study of interwar humanitarianism in the Middle East. It traces the origins of modern humanitarianism during and after the First World War as both practice and ideology; connects humanitarianism to nationalism and colonialism; integrates humanitarianism with the history of human rights; and addresses how the concept of humanity informed bureaucratic and legal humanitarian practices. The work argues that modern humanitarianism is a unique institutional and ideological phenomenon produced by conceptions of humanity in Western civil society and public opinion, the rise of the professions, social-scientific approaches to social ills, and the specific historical and social conditions resulting from late-colonialism and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.