Latest Entries
Waqf and the Management of Water Resources in the Middle East: the historical role of local communities
Forum on Waqfs / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Waqf and the Management of Water Resources in the Middle East: the historical role of local communities

Editors’ Note: Closing HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, Sabrina Joseph argues that, by analyzing natural resource management in early modern Ottoman Syria, for example, “we gain precious insight not only into the role of local communities but also into those value systems and indigenous institutions, such as waqf, that can be harnessed by present day political … Continue reading

FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020) and Solid Perpetuities
Forum on Waqfs / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020) and Solid Perpetuities

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil‘s forum on waqfs, Leilah Vevaina reviews Nurfadzilah Yahaya’s Fluid Jurisdictions (2020), while discussing her own research on religious endowments in India and the Straits Settlements. Vevaina writes: “This axis of what colonial authorities recognized as public, and hence, as charitable giving, versus familial hence private giving, was the key evaluator of why … Continue reading

The Unintended Effects of Waqf Litigation: A Review of FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020)
Forum on Waqfs / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

The Unintended Effects of Waqf Litigation: A Review of FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020)

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil‘s forum on waqfs, Nada Moumtaz relates Nurfadzilah Yahaya’s Fluid Jurisdictions (2020) with her own research of waqf litigation in twentieth century Beirut, Lebanon. Moumtaz argues: “Beyond Yahaya’s explanation of waqf litigation among the Arab diaspora in nineteenth century Southeast Asia, I want to suggest—based on my own research of twentieth century … Continue reading

Surplus and Colonial Charity
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Surplus and Colonial Charity

Editors’ Note: Launching HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, Nurfadzilah Yahaya introduces her new book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020) In this presentation of Fluid Jurisdictions, Yahaya notes that: “While scholarship on the history of human generosity is haunted by discussions of altruistic ends and self-regarding motives, the specific … Continue reading

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs

Editors’ Note: This post, by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey, introduces HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, which will be featured on this site for the next weeks. If Andrew Carnegie invented modern philanthropy, Bill Gates has become its global evangelist. For many HistPhil readers, including myself at times, this statement might not seem to be controversial. After … Continue reading

The Good Neighbor in a Time of Crisis
COVID-19 Pandemic

The Good Neighbor in a Time of Crisis

Editors’ Note: Nancy Rosenblum reflects on the meaning of the “good neighbor” during the coronavirus crisis, expanding upon her 2016 book, Good Neighbors: The Democracy of Everyday Life in America. This essay is adapted from the forthcoming essay, “The Democracy of Everyday Life in Disaster: Holding Our Lives in Their Hands,” in Democratic Theory (2020). … Continue reading

Charitable Action in Times of Crisis: What the state of Giving in the Aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina Can Tell Us About the post-COVID era
COVID-19 Pandemic

Charitable Action in Times of Crisis: What the state of Giving in the Aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina Can Tell Us About the post-COVID era

Editors’ Note: Nathan Dietz summarizes the findings of a new research brief from the Do Good Institute, “Community in Crisis: A Look at How U.S. Charitable Actions and Civic Engagement Change in Times of Crises,” and reflects on what it might suggest about giving, volunteering, and civic engagement in the post-COVID era. How has the … Continue reading

Movement Capture and the Long Arc of the Black Freedom Struggle
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy in the News

Movement Capture and the Long Arc of the Black Freedom Struggle

Editors’ Note: Responding to Ford Foundation President Darren Walker’s statement on Juneteenth that these are “[un]precedented times– and hopefully a sign of the change that’s to come,” Erica Kohl-Arenas and Megan Ming Francis ask which roles Walker and other philanthropic leaders intend or want to play in the context of the movement for Black lives; … Continue reading

Conservative Philanthropy’s War Against Race and Gender Studies  in U.S. Higher Education
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Inequality

Conservative Philanthropy’s War Against Race and Gender Studies in U.S. Higher Education

Editors’ Note: Introducing her 2013 article, “Movement Conservatism and the Attack on Ethnic Studies,” published in Race, Ethnicity and Education, Donna J. Nicol argues that conservative philanthropy during the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s targeted ethnic and gender studies because these disciplines called into question who had the right to determine what constitutes … Continue reading

Donating Antibodies to Science: Incorporating COVID-19 Challenge Trials Into the History of Medical Ethics and Voluntarism
COVID-19 Pandemic

Donating Antibodies to Science: Incorporating COVID-19 Challenge Trials Into the History of Medical Ethics and Voluntarism

Editors’ Notes: Mabel Rosenheck sketches out the historical lineages of human challenge trials, such as those which might be conducted to find a COVID-19 vaccine. In April, I expressed my willingness to be deliberately infected with the coronavirus as a participant in a human challenge trial (HCT) for a vaccine to COVID-19. I am one … Continue reading

The Long History of U.S. Philanthropy Abroad
New Works in the Field

The Long History of U.S. Philanthropy Abroad

Editors’ Note: Anelise Hanson Shrout introduces her recent chapter-length review of scholarship on U.S. philanthropy in the Early Republic, published in A Companion to the History of U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to the Present (ed. Christopher R.W. Dietrich) (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2020). Here, Shrout argues that: “The fact that a wide range of … Continue reading

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List

Editors’ Note: In response to Black Lives Matter protests, #BlackInTheIvory, and nearly daily updates of leading U.S. philanthropies, nonprofits and for-profits proclaiming their allyship to the BLM movement, we have questioned what role we should and could play here on HistPhil. As a first step, we are amplifying the published works of Black scholars both … Continue reading

Term of Abuse, Term of Praise: A History of the idea of the Philanthropist, From John Howard’s Day to our Own
New Works in the Field

Term of Abuse, Term of Praise: A History of the idea of the Philanthropist, From John Howard’s Day to our Own

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis reviews The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750 Britain and Beyond, by Hugh Cunningham. Hugh Cunningham’s new book, The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750 Britain and Beyond, helps to explain two conundrums related to discussions of contemporary philanthropy. The first is why, when referring to a philanthropist, do most people instantly imagine … Continue reading

A Small Grant Can Go a Long Way: Building Support for Native American Governance
In remembrance / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

A Small Grant Can Go a Long Way: Building Support for Native American Governance

Editors’ Note: Michael Lipsky tells the story of a small Ford Foundation grant, made by Norm Collins in 1986, that led to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and paved the way for Ford’s Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations awards program. This post … Continue reading

Capital and Ideology…and Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Capital and Ideology…and Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Andrew Hart reviews Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology, with a particular focus on what the book might (or might not) tell us about the relationship between philanthropy and inequality. French economist Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology (Capital et idéologie, 2019), arrived in English in mid-March, when people with office jobs were … Continue reading

Rethinking Results: The Development of Outcome Evaluation in U.S. Social Work
New Works in the Field

Rethinking Results: The Development of Outcome Evaluation in U.S. Social Work

Editors’ Note: Maoz Brown details the history of outcome evaluation in the human services, summarizing an argument he recently made in the December 2019 issue of Social Service Review. The entire issue, on social work history, is worthy of attention from historians of philanthropy. It contains, for instance, important contributions on the Russell Sage Foundation-funded … Continue reading

The Gentleness of Charity: British Sectoral Policy in the COVID-19 Crisis
COVID-19 Pandemic

The Gentleness of Charity: British Sectoral Policy in the COVID-19 Crisis

Editors’ Note: John Picton examines the politics behind the British government’s (disappointing) emergency funding package directed to the nation’s charities. The COVID-19 health crisis has led to a funding crisis in the British charity sector. Face-to-face fundraising is impossible, charities have had to close their shops, and the value of investment and reserve funds is … Continue reading

Political Theory and the Nonprofit Sector
Nonprofit Sector Research Handbook Forum

Political Theory and the Nonprofit Sector

Editors’ Note: Ted Lechterman and Rob Reich introduce their chapter on political theory in the third edition of The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook (Stanford University Press). For other posts in HistPhil‘s forum on the Research Handbook, see here. Many scholars study what nonprofits do, by describing, analyzing, or predicting their behavior and performance. Fewer … Continue reading

Private Giving, Public Sector Failure, and the Covid-19 Crisis
COVID-19 Pandemic / Nonprofit Sector Research Handbook Forum

Private Giving, Public Sector Failure, and the Covid-19 Crisis

Editors’ Note: Sarah Reckhow introduces her chapter on “Politics, Philanthropy, and Inequality” in the newly published third edition of The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, and ties it to the charitable response to the Covid-19 crisis. For other posts in HistPhil‘s book forum on the Research Handbook, see here. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has tested … Continue reading