The Modern Europe Colloquium Fall 2019 Series presents:
Tehila Sasson, Assistant Professor Department of History, Emory University: “The Myth of the Market: Humanitarianism, Capitalism and the End of Empire.”
Tehila Sasson, Assistant Professor (B.A. Tel Aviv University; M.A. and Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is a historian of modern Europe and international history, with a particular interest in the history of ethics, sovereignty and the economy. She is currently completing a book manuscript, provisionally entitled We Are the World: Humanitarian Ethics, Global Markets and Everyday Life, which tells the story of how and why ordinary people came to care about global suffering. Based on newly opened archives of nongovernmental organizations, international agencies and private business in Britain, Switzerland, Italy and the United States, the book uncovers the ways in which between the 1940s and 1980s global humanitarian ethics became part of everyday action. The story of this global community has previously been told from the perspective of diplomats, governmental agencies, and aid experts. We Are the World shifts this focus by charting how women, children, youth groups, religious organizations and even businessmen came to take part and join the project of feeding the world’s hungry. The book argues that from the end of the Second World War, and the unraveling of the European empires, to the Live Aid concert in the 1980s, the idea of a shared and global market became the basis for grassroots forms of activism, incorporating a broader base of people. The marketplace became the space through which aid, solidarity and compassion was reimagined through local and transnational forms of activism in Britain, the United States and Europe.
Sasson’s work has been supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from Past & Present as well as by numerous fellowships and awards from various institutions including the Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, the American Historical Association, the Mellon Foundation, and the Institutes for International and European Studies at UC Berkeley. She also won the 2017 International Research Award in Global History administered jointly by the universities of Basel, Heidelberg, and Sydney.