I’m a historian working on various aspects of global history in the 20th century. In particular I study the history of international organizations, transnational movements, prisoners of war, refugees, humanitarian and philanthropy, women, gender, and emotions. I'm preparing my first book for publication: “Europe under Threat. International Humanitarian Aid, Prisoners of War, and Refugees, 1918-1930.” In my book, I use the prism of international organizations – the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Nations, and the International Labor Office – to examine how and why prisoners of war and refugees were constructed as a threat to peace and security at the end of WWI. I am also conducting preliminary research on my second project, tentatively entitled “Living a Life of Generosity: Women, Gender, and International Organizations in the 20th century.” Through the lives and careers of women engaged in the missionary, philanthropic, humanitarian, and social reform movements, I aim to explore crucial historical processes of the 20th century, such as globalization, professionalization, secularization, and feminism.
Dr. Piana received her PhD (summa cum laude and félicitations du jury) in 2013
from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Her dissertation as entitled, "Towards the International Refugee Regime. Humanitarianism in the Wake of the First World War."
Recent graduate course
The history of internationalism and international organizations in 20th century Europe (co-teaching)
- “The Dangers of ‘Going Native’: George Montandon and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1919-1922” Contemporary European History, Volume 25, Special Issue 02, May 2016, 253-274.
- “Photography, Cinema, and the Quest for Influence: the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Wake of the First World War,” eds. Heide Fehrenbach and Davide Rodogno, Humanitarian Photography: A History. Series on “Human Rights in History” (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015): 140-164.
- “International Humanitarian Associations in Poland 1918-1923,” with Davide Rodogno and Shaloma Gauthier, Shaping the Transnational Sphere: the Transnational Networks of Experts (1840-1930), eds. Bernard Struck, Jakob Vogel, and Davide Rodogno (New York: Berghahn Books, 2014): 259-278.
- “Two Eras of Refugee Policy. The Legacies of the League of Nations in the 1940s,” Ideas and Identities. A Festschrift for Andre Liebich, eds. Jaci Eisenberg and Davide Rodogno (Bern: Peter Lang, 2014): 83-101.
- “L'humanitaire d'après-guerre: prisonniers de guerre et réfugiés russes dans la politique du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et de la Société des Nations,” Relations internationales 151, no. 3 (2013): 63-75.
- “What Does Transnational History Tell Us About a World with International Organizations? The Historians’ Point of View,” with Davide Rodogno and Shaloma Gauthier, Routledge Handbook of International Organizations, ed. Bob Reinalda (London: Routledge, 2013): 95-104.
- “Humanitaire et politique, in medias res: le typhus en Pologne et l’Organisation Internationale d’Hygiène (1919-1923),” Relations internationales 138, no. 2 (2009): 23-38.
Selected fellowships, awards, and honors
- Swiss National Science Foundation, Advanced Postdoc.Mobility, Birkbeck College, London (UK)
- Swiss National Science Foundation, Columbia University and University of Michigan, NYC and Ann Arbor (US)
- Telluride Faculty Fellowship for winter term, visiting professor, Ann Arbor, Michigan (US)
- Pierre du Bois Prize for the best dissertation in international history and politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (CH)
- Raphael Lemkin Scholarship, Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide, Yerevan, (AM)
Tadashi Ishikawa is the first recipient of the Postdoctoral Fellowship jointly sponsored by the Department of History and the Journal of Women's History. Dr. Ishikawa, who received his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, specializes in modern Japanese history, imperialism and colonialism, gender and sexuality, and legal history. His dissertation, entitled "Families Remade, Empire Reconfigured: Discourse, Law, and Colonial Taiwan in Japan, 1870s-1937," explores how imperial officials, ideologues, and professionals as well as Taiwanese elites and litigants, shaped public and legal discourses and judicial practices concerning the family and marriage. It examines such themes as bride prices, daughter adoption, and premarital sexual relationships.