William Sharman F'20

William  Sharman
Doctoral Candidate
History
Duke University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2020
Doctoral Candidate
History
Duke University
Moral Politics: Global Humanitarianism, the Third World, and West Germany, 1960-1990

This project explores how and why West Germany became a central hub of humanitarian care and governance around the world, seeking to balance aid commitments abroad with Europe’s largest refugee population at home. It focuses on humanitarian aid and intervention in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the migration of refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia to West Germany. It argues that these twin processes reflected West Germany’s changing relation to the world in a postcolonial age of universal human rights, Holocaust memories, freely circulating capital, and global media and transportation. However, non-German actors were key figures, using the languages of humanitarianism, human rights, Christian fellowship, and feminism to make claims for rights and justice.