Valérie Gorin is Head of Learning at the Geneva Center of Humanitarian Studies. She is also a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Lausanne and Unidistance. She was previously invited professor at SciencesPo Lille in France, visiting scholar at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and a Senior Researcher of the Swiss National Foundation at the University of Lausanne.

Dr Gorin holds a Degree in History from the Faculty of Arts (October 2004), and a PhD in communication and media sciences at the University of Geneva in September 2013, where she had been a teaching and research assistant (2007-2013). Her PhD focused on the photojournalistic coverage of humanitarian crises in American and French news magazines from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Her areas of research focus on the visual culture and history of humanitarianism, humanitarian communication and the relationship with the media, and the evolution and uses of photojournalism. She is currently doing research on virtual reality and digital innovations, and the link between (eye)witnessing and advocacy strategies in humanitarian settings.

She has published extensively on photojournalism, visual culture and advocacy in Digital Journalism (2015), the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (2017), Humanitarianism and the Media, 1900-2015 (Berghahn Books, 2018), L’humanitaire s’exhibe (1867-2016) (Georg, 2021). She also co-edited several publications about the responses to famine (European Review of History, 2015), the representations of the 2014-2016 migration crisis (Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, 2018), the commemorations of the Russian revolution (Antipodes, 2017), humanitarian advocacy (Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, 2021) as well as the new edited volume (with B. Edgar and D. Martin Moruno) Making Humanitarian Crises: Emotions and Images in History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

Fields of interest

  • History of armed conflicts in the 20th century
  • History of photography, photojournalism and the press
  • History of humanitarian action
  • The media and humanitarian action
  • Humanitarian communication
  • Citizen (photo)journalism
  • Advocacy strategies
  • Sociology of celebrity and celebrity diplomacy
  • Visual Culture

Selected publications