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.

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 politicasdelamemoria@gmail.com 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.

Call for papers: Corpses, Burials and Infection conference: 4th – 5th December 2015 at CRASSH, University of Cambridge

It has become a truism to state that in times of epidemic infection, the bodies of the dead become morally, ontologically, and infrastructurally problematic. Nowhere has this been better demonstrated than in the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, when burials and the handling of corpses became arenas of contestation through which both local and scientific ‘cultures’ were placed on trial.

This conference will expand the discursive space that such narratives have created, by asking; how can we problematise the perception and treatment of corpses in situations of infectious disease outbreaks? How can we denaturalise burial as an obvious space of political and ethical contestation? What kinds of pollution narrative are specific to epidemic situations, and how have these historically interacted with arguments over contagion and infection? Moreover, how does the handling of the polluted corpse come to impact upon descriptions of the healthy body? Indeed, what is the place of the healthy body in a political economy geared toward answering the question of how to dispose of the corpse?

Papers are invited from across the medical humanities (anthropology, medical history, sociology, geography, etc.) as well as from public health perspectives. Abstracts of no more than 200 words are to be sent to Nicholas Evans (ne228 [at]cam.ac.uk) by the 1st July.

For more information please visit the website here.

Conference – Genocide in Srebrenica: towards a long-lasting memory

SrebrenicaThe Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks has organised the international conference “Genocide in Srebrenica: towards a long-lasting memory” to be held on 12 and 13 May 2015 at the Gazi Husrev-bey Library in Sarajevo.

The 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide will be marked on 11 July 2015. The Srebrenica genocide is the worst massacre to have occurred on European soil since the Holocaust where at least 8,372 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were systematically executed by Bosnian Serb Army and Police. The genocide in 1995 was preceded by massacres and “ethnic cleansing“ throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina since the start of the war in 1992.

Conducted in English and Bosnian, the conference will open up the floor for dialogue about genocide denial, collective memory and remembrance.

As a part of the conference program, the exhibition “Mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina” from Muhamed Mujkić will also be opened on May 11, in the lobby of Ghazi Husrev – bey’s library at 19:00. The exhibition will run until 20 May.

For the full list of speakers and for more information please see here.

Conference – Traité des nouveaux droits de la mort

pgm-TDM1Il n’existe aucun ouvrage juridique à ce jour qui embrasse les questions funéraires et du cadavre de manière exhaustive. Afin de combler ce manque, le colloque projeté et organisé sous l’égide de l’association Collectif l’Unité du Droit offre une dimension transdisciplinaire qui sera valorisée non seulement à travers le prisme juridique de l’Unité du / des droit(s) (public, privé, pénal, historique, européens, etc.) mais encore au-delà des frontières juridiques en faisant appel à la médecine, à l’anthropologie, à l’histoire, aux arts, à l’urbanisme, aux religions, à l’économie, à la bioéthique, à la philosophie, etc.).

Ie projet s’articule autour de deux grandes thématiques (I. La mort, activité(s) juridique(s) et II. La mort, incarnation(s) cadavérique(s)) qui déboucheront sur des propositions concrètes (et notamment législatives) à l’instar d’une nouvelle définition du cadavre et de son statut juridique.

Le colloque <Traité des nouveaux droits de la mort> aura lieu à l’Université du Maine (13 & 14 novembre 2014) avec pour porteur principal le laboratoire Themis-Um.

Workshop: Towards a criminology of mass violence and the corpse

AFF Towards Criminology 06112014-page-0Criminology emerged in the 19th Century as a Europe-wide technology of enquiry into crime and its control. Despite this, European criminologists have only very recently begun to confront the mass atrocities committed on continental soil and in the name of the imperial/ideological ambitions of member states. This workshop aims to contribute to the development of a European criminology of mass violence and genocide.

Bringing together leading European scholars of crime and punishment whose work touches on mass violence, together with experienced practitioners of forensic archaeology and humanitarian emergency response, the workshop has four principle aims: (i) to contextualise the area by analysing trends in the prevalence and nature of European mass violence and corpse disposal; (ii) to understand the socio-legal status and forensic value of cadavers, together with their potential criminological value; (iii) to describe theory and methods that can make sense of the treatment and distribution of dead bodies by perpetrators; and (iv) to understand the links between the legal/professional handling of corpses in peacetime and the illegal handling of them in times of conflict. In so doing, we hope to lay some of the foundations for theoretical, methodological and practical engagement with the subject matter, better understand how societies do and do not come to terms with a legacy of mass violence, and assist in the important project of re-ascribing value to radicallydevalued lives.

The workshop, organised by criminologist Jon Shute, will be held at the University of Manchester on 6th-7th November 2014. Please see the programme here and contact: l.radford@corpsesofmassviolence.eu
for further information.

Workshop – La patrimonialisation des restes humains au Rwanda (1994-2014)

rwanda workshopDepuis 1994, peu de recherches ont été menées sur la dimension proprement matérielle de la mémoire du génocide commis contre les Tutsi, et sur la fonction qu’y assument les restes humains. Pourtant, plusieurs musées et d’innombrables mémoriaux sont au cœur de la politique commémorative menée depuis vingt ans par l’Etat rwandais. Et au sein des sites du souvenir, les restes des victimes du génocide sont fréquemment inhumés, voire présentés aux yeux du public.

L’objectif de ‘(Dé)montrer le génocide: La patrimonialisation des restes humains au Rwanda (1994-2014)’ organisée par le programme de recherche Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide, les laboratoire IRIS et CESPRA et le département d’histoire de l’ULB, est de questionner le processus de patrimonialisation des restes humains du génocide au Rwanda depuis 1994, en s’interrogeant sur les traces matérielles de l’expérience de la violence extrême. Acteurs de terrain, historiens et anthropologues tenteront au cours de cette journée de saisir les spécificités du cas rwandais en ce qui concerne la question du traitement muséographique et patrimonial des corps.

Please see the programme here.

Conference – Terrortimes, Terrorscapes?

On 1st-4th August the Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing will host the conference “Terrortimes, Terrorscapes? Temporal, Spatial and Memory Continuities of War and Genocide in 20th Century Europe”.

2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of the Great War and the 75th anniversary of Germany’s attack on Poland in 1939. This calls us to explore temporal and spatial continuities between the diverse horrors of war and genocide in the first half of the 20th century as well as investigate diverse forms of memory and memorialization of atrocity. Furthermore, the conference seeks to include transnational perspectives by inviting scholars from different national backgrounds working in Europe and the US. As such key concepts will be explored such as temporal continuities of war and atrocity, colonial and violence of decolonization, spatial approaches to define violence as well as gender and generational memory of war and atrocity.

For more information please see the programme here.

Musealization of Violence in Central and Eastern Europe – Workshop

downloadThe musealization of mass violence has drastically changed since 1989, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. New political, social, cultural and scholarly agendas, the possibility to access documents and archives, and to circulate ideas and research through formerly closed borders, has allowed for new ways to document the traumatic past and to launch a common thinking about how to commemorate the past on a European and even worldwide scale.

This calls for methodological and ethical questions about the feasibility and relevance of representing or reconstructing past violence. Musealization may go along with an inexplicit, memorial void, or with the deformation or falsification of history. To understand these new or modified spaces of memory one needs to comprehend the issues at stake, including the interaction of antagonistic experiences.

The workshop, co-organised by the Corpses of mass violence programme and held at the Sorbonne and EHESS Paris, will address these issues on 23-24 May 2014. For further information please see here.

Criminology Workshop – Mass Violence and the Corpse

CALL FOR PAPERS

“TOWARDS A CRIMINOLOGY OF MASS VIOLENCE AND THE CORPSE:
A  EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE”

A WORKSHOP TO BE HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER ON 6th & 7th NOVEMBER 2014

Organiser: Jon Shute, University of Manchester, Co-investigator of the ERC Programme, ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide

SUMMARY: Criminology emerged in the 19th Century as a Europe-wide technology of enquiry into crime and its control. Despite this, European criminologists have only very recently begun to confront the mass atrocities committed on continental soil and in the name of the imperial/ideological ambitions of member states. This workshop aims to contribute to the development of a European criminology of mass violence and genocide. The workshop will be multidisciplinary, and bring together scholars from a range of disciplines as well as from forensic practice.

RATIONALE: This workshop arises from three central paradoxes. First, since the Early Modern Period, Europe has witnessed a general decline in the prevalence and acceptability of ‘peacetime violence’ as meted out by private citizens and sovereign power, but at the same time witnessed periodic and recurrent cataclysmic violence in the form of intra- and inter-state war, and repressive totalitarian regimes. Second, these manifestations of mass violence have as one of their principle products, the corpse, yet despite the remains of tens – perhaps hundreds – of millions of victims littering the continent, little systematic study has been made of their fate. Third, despite the fact that many of these bodies will have been produced as a result of what we would now term mass crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide – there has been little substantive criminological engagement with those crimes, and virtually no engagement whatsoever with the human remains of victims.

Building on the interdisciplinary ERC Programme ‘Corpse of Mass Violence & Genocide’, this workshop proposes to begin to solve these paradoxes by advancing the criminological study of mass violence and the corpse. Bringing together leading European scholars of crime and punishment whose work touches on mass violence, together with experienced practitioners of forensic archaeology and humanitarian emergency response, the workshop has four principle aims: (i) to contextualise the area by analysing trends in the prevalence and nature of European mass violence and corpse disposal; (ii) to understand the socio-legal status and forensic value of cadavers, together with their potential criminological value; (iii) to describe theory and methods that can make sense of the treatment and distribution of dead bodies by perpetrators; and (iv) to understand the links between the legal/professional handling of corpses in peacetime and the illegal handling of them in times of conflict. In so doing, we hope to lay some of the foundations for theoretical, methodological and practical engagement with the subject matter, better understand how societies do and do not come to terms with a legacy of mass violence, and assist in the important project of reascribing value to radically devalued lives.

Proposals must be no longer than 1500 words, accompanied by a detailed biography and should be sent in English by 30 April 2014 to l.radford@corpsesofmassviolence.eu. Notification of proposal acceptance will be sent around 31st May 2014. Final papers should be sent no later than 6 November 2014 and will be included in either a planned edited volume with Manchester University Press (part of the Human Remains and Violence series), or, possibly, a journal special issue. Funds are available to cover transport or accommodation costs for delegates delivering papers. The conference will be conducted in English.