Events at HCRI
by Maura Duffy
The new academic year has got off to a busy start at HCRI, starting with two International Conferences in September 2015: Inequality, Peace and Conflict followed closely by A Quest for Humanitarian Effectiveness a collaboration with Save the Children UK. Then in the final week of September we were delighted to welcome 122 MA, intercalating BSc, and new and returning PhD students for a busy programme of induction week activities. Teaching is now underway and already the contributions of both staff and students have created a vibrant and exciting teaching and learning experience for us all.
Cultural event at the Quest Conference: Michelle Green reading from her book Jebel Marra based on her experiences as an NGO worker in Darfur (Anthony Burgess Foundation)
Our packed events programme for this semester got off to an excellent start with the return of Jane Cocking, Humanitarian Director of OXFAM, who engaged a packed audience of staff and students in a lively and informative discussion of the current challenges of humanitarian interventions.
Jane Cocking speaking to HCRI staff and students
We also had the first of our monthly Speaker Series forums at the start of October with HCRI alumni Romea Brugger reflecting on how her MA studies in Disaster Management at HCRI had enabled her to gain the knowledge, skills and contacts to further her career development- firstly in Mozambique and now with Caritas, Switzerland. The next Speaker Series event is on 26 October and features Yasamin Alttahir from SAVE the Children talking about the Children of Uruzgan Project. Keep an eye on our events pages for further updates on upcoming Speaker Series events as well as new events programmes such as the Disaster Dialogues series and interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues within and outside the University, such as the Live Aid Legacies event at the Martin Harris Centre on Thursday 10 December.
In addition to these regular events, an important part of our work at HCRI is to provide opportunities for us all to reflect on current events and crises- for example our panel discussions during the last academic year on the Ebola epidemic and the implications of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan for humanitarian interventions. This semester we have already lined up two rapid response forums: the first takes place on Wednesday 11 November when we bring together representatives from HCRI and MSF, legal experts and others to discuss the recent US bombing of an MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. The second takes place on Thursday 15 December and brings together a panel that includes refugees, representatives from refugee organisations and academics to examine the current Mediterranean Refugee crisis. We welcome staff and students from across the University as well as the wider public to engage with us in these debates. Again, for details of these events and how to register, see our website and please get in contact with us if you have any ideas for events and/or would like to be more involved in our existing programmes.
As you can see, this is both a challenging and exciting time for HCRI as we combine our regular events, teaching and research activities with broader engagement with, and response to, current developments. Thanks to all staff and students for a great start to the academic year!