Corpses in Society: Human Remains in post-Genocide and Mass Violence Contexts


3nd Annual & International Conference of the Research Programme
Conference to be held at the University of Manchester, UK, on 8 – 10 September 2014
Organisers: Elisabeth Anstett (IRIS, France) and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (University of Manchester, UK)

Following a first conference in September 2012 focusing on the treatment of corpses by the perpetrator in mass crime settings, and a second conference in 2013 exploring the search for and identification of victims’ bodies, this third annual conference from the research programme “Corpses of mass violence and genocide” aims to address the place given to the remains of victims in post- genocide and mass violence contexts.

While issues concerning the treatment and curation of human remains have attracted much interest over recent decades in museums and academic institutions when dealing with identified or unidentified human skeletal collections, they have virtually raised no attention in the field of genocide and mass violence studies. In these cases it is seldom documented how the bodily remains of victims resulting from extreme events are commemorated in their various ways. Frequently publically displayed, as in Cambodia or Rwanda today, these remains raise a number of questions regarding their legal, ethical and technical uses. When, how and why are bodies (re-)buried or exhibited and what is their effect, either desired or unintended, on various political, cultural or religious practices such as pilgrimages, rituals and thanato-tourism?

The organisers are calling for papers dealing with the treatment of human remains in the context of mass crime aftermaths. The conference will focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and deal with any geographical location, opening new avenues of research into the peace building processes that follow these mass atrocities.

Proposals must be no longer than 1500 words, accompanied by a detailed biography and should be sent either in French or in English by 28 March 2014 to the following email:
Final papers should be sent no later than 1 September 2014 to be included in the publication resulting from the conference with Manchester University Press.

To read the full call for papers, please see here.

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