The 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.