Workshop – The forensic turn in Holocaust Studies?

Einladung-Forsenic-TurnThe Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies has organised a two-day event in Vienna on the 25-26 June. “The Forensic Turn in Holocaust Studies?: (Re-)Thinking the Past Through Materiality” will examine how sites of the former concentration and extermination camps, as well as the mass graves at the ‘killing sites’, have become the objects of archaeological research contributing to the development of ‘Holocaust archaeology’ as a new subdiscipline.

Centred on material traces of genocidal violence, such as spatial structures, physical remnants, mass graves and human remains, the ‘forensic turn‘ could be seen as a response to the gradual passing away of Holocaust victims. At the same time, it reflects broader changes in practical and conceptual approaches to legacies of (genocidal) violence across cultures and geographies brought about by the urge for historiographical, historical, ancestral and personal clarifications, quests for justice or processes of reconciliation in its aftermath.

While acknowledging its unquestionable importance for fostering historical research on post-Holocaust landscapes, this workshop seeks to investigate the theoretical, methodological, political and practical implications of the ‘forensic turn’ for their investigation, memorialisation and experience.

For more information, and to view the complete programme, please see here.

New publication – ‘Killing Sites’

Killing sitesRemembrance of the Holocaust often focuses on those who have suffered and perished in concentration camps, ghettos or on death marches. But the killing sites, places where mass shootings took place, are still relatively unknown. Popular and official political commemorations, as well as much scholarly research, have tended to focus on the extermination camps, the gas chambers and the ghettos. The victims of these mass murders were predominantly Jewish and often lived nearby. Communities that existed and thrived for centuries perished in a few hours, hastily buried in unmarked graves and pits.

IHRA’s conference “Killing Sites – Research and Remembrance”, hosted by the Pedagogical University of Krakow, took place from 22 – 23 January 2014. The full report can be read here, naming global and regional actors in the field, summarising past endeavours, and analysing recent approaches to provide an overview of the subject. The conference was attended by a variety of experts in the field and focused on fieldwork as well as exploring regional perspectives, databases, education and commemoration.

For more information please see here.

Conference – Cuerpo, ciencia, memoria y política en las exhumaciones contemporáneas

Madrid conferenceLa conferencia final del proyecto I+D+i El pasado bajo tierra quiere detenerse ante estos múltiples regímenes de evidencia y considerar las formas en las que el cuerpo exhumado produce significados – tanto científicos como políticos, sociales y culturales – en el contexto de las exhumaciones de fosas comunes. En la última década, la práctica de exhumar se ha vuelto cada vez más importante para hacer frente a los pasados violentos. Con ello, el cuerpo exhumado ha transformado no solamente las prácticas y los valores forenses y judiciales, sino también las elaboraciones políticas, sociales y culturales de dicho pasado. En esta conferencia planteamos el diálogo entre diferentes prácticas, metodologías y preocupaciones teóricas que orientan los discursos actuales de memoria y derechos humanos desde la perspectiva del cuerpo exhumado, tomado como objeto material y discursivo. A través de un debate interdisciplinar y fomentando un diálogo entre estudios de caso comparativos, buscamos el acercamiento al cuerpo exhumado desde una perspectiva transnacional y comparada, como un objeto de análisis que puede ayudar a iluminar las complejidades de construir sentido y reivindicaciones en el espacio público a partir de las evidencias físicas.

¿De qué manera se relaciona el cuerpo exhumado como objeto de tratamiento técnico, memoria cultural y también como sujeto performativo con el mapa transnacional emergente de memorias y pasados violentos?

El congreso tendrá lugar en castellano e inglés, que tendrá lugar en el CCHS-CSIC los días 2 y 3 de julio de 2015. Habrá traducción simultánea disponible. Entrada libre con inscripción. Para registrarse, enviar e-mail a antes del 29 de junio, incluyendo NOMBRE, APELLIDOS y DNI o NIE. En caso de necesitar certificado de asistencia, por favor indicadlo en la inscripción.