Marie Leyder

Post-doctorante FNS-CMCSS


Marie Leyder is a postdoctoral researcher since December 2023 in the project Les pollutions nocturnes, médecine et masculinités: explorations sur la longue durée (XVIIIe-XXe siècles, France-Suisse), directed by Dr. Francesca Arena and funded by the Centre Maurice Chalumeau en Sciences des Sexualités and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Marie Leyder holds a Master's degree in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2014) and an Erasmus Mundus GEMMA Master's degree in Gender Studies from the University of Granada (Spain) and the University of Hull (UK) (2018).

In September 2023, she defended her Ph.D. in Gender Studies and History of Medicine at the University of Geneva (Institut des Études Genre / iEH2) with a thesis entitled Engagées en première ligne : Marraines de guerre et infirmières sur le front de l'Yser pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Her research focuses on the history of humanitarian aid, women's and gender history, the social and cultural history of war, and the history of care. In particular, she has devoted herself to the study of humanitarian practices during the First World War by examining the transnational aid sent to the Belgian front, in particular by the nurses of the various national Red Cross societies and by the wartime godmothers who sent letters and parcels to soldiers from their homes.

She was also co-applicant with Dr. Dolores Martín Moruno of the SNSF Agora scientific communication project Beyond Compassion: Gender and Humanitarian Action (2022). The project enabled the results of the research group "WOMEN_HUMANITARI@NS" to be disseminated to the public through three initiatives: the co-production of the exhibition "Who Cares? Gender and Humanitarian Action" exhibition in collaboration with the Geneva International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (May 31, 2022 to October 9, 2022), the organization of a mini-film festival accompanied by a series of round table discussions in April 2022 in partnership with the Cinémas du Grütli, and finally, the development of a website, accessible at , to continue the exchange with the public.



  • History of Medicine
  • History of Gender
  • History of the First World War
  • Knowledge and Practices of Care
  • History of Emotions/History of Experience



Marie Leyder taught courses on the history of humanitarian medicine for the Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine specialization in the Faculty of Medicine (University of Geneva, 2018-2020).



  1. Leyder, Marie (2023) Santé et pratique épistolaire pendant la Première Guerre mondiale : Lettre d’un soldat à son ancienne infirmière et marraine de guerre, Histoire, médecine et santé, 23.1, 87-92. Online on 19 May 2023.
  2. Leyder, Marie (2020) “The American and Canadian wartime godmothers of Belgian soldiers. Joseph de Dorlodot’s Correspondence and Documentation Office (1915-1919)”, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 36(1). Online on 12 May 2020.
  3. Martín Moruno Dolores, Edgar Brenda, Leyder Marie (2020) “Feminist perspectives on the History of Humanitarian Relief (1870-1945)”, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 36(1). Online on 19 February 2020.
  4. Leyder, Marie (2017) Las emociones de las mujeres lejos y cerca del frente belga: análisis de cartas y diarios de las cuidadoras de la Gran Guerra, in XVII Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Historia de la Medicina, ed. Alfons Zarzoso y Jon Arrizabalaga, pp. 183-188.



  • Sept. 2022 : Writing as a form of care: The correspondence of wartime godmothers and Belgian soldiers during the First World War on the Yser front, HISTORIE(S) OF CARE: Gender, Experiences and Humanitarian Knowledge(s), Genève, Suisse.
  • July 2019 : The Queen's medicine: Wartime photography at the Hôpital de l'Océan (1914-1919), Regarding the pain of others. What emotions have to do with the history of humanitarian images, Auditoire de la Fondation Louis Jeantet, Genève, Suisse.
  • May 2019 : Engagées en première ligne : marraines et infirmières de la Grande Guerre, Colloque sur l’histoire de la médicine en Suisse/ Kolloquium zur Medizingeschichte in der Schweiz, Université de Fribourg, Suisse.
  • March 2019 : (Avec Dolores Martín Moruno) Gendering Humanitarian Compassion during World War I, History of Experience: Theories, Methodologies, and Concepts, Université de Tampere, Finlande.
  • April 2018 : An examination of Belgian nurses and godmothers: their emotional battle in the Great War, Gendering Humanitarian Knowledge, Global histories of compassion from the Mid-Nineteenth century to the present, Genève, Suisse.
  • June 2017 : Las emociones de las mujeres lejos y cerca del frente belga: análisis de cartas y diarios de las cuidadoras de la Gran Guerra, XVII Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Historia de la Medicina, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espagne.
  • May 2017 : Poster: The Emotions in the First World War. Letters and diaries of war nurses and godmothers, 9th European Spring School for the History of Science and Popularization ‘Living in Emergency: Humanitarianism and Medicine’, Mahón, Espagne.