Corporealities of violence Workshop

This workshop was focused on how human bodies are not only the means and target of violence in a diversity of forms, and therefore transformed by it in a myriad of ways, but also how human corporealities are often at the centre of what follows violence: including refugee displacements, and subsequent movements and ‘returns’; medicalization, documentation, and sometimes incarceration; as well as acts of burial, mourning, and commemoration; and forensic examinations and exhumations for (often elusive) processes of ‘transitional justice’, ‘reconciliation’ and ‘healing’. Taking the transformations, interferences and flows of bodies and bodily substances animating violence and its consequences as its central problematic, it aimed at exploring the convergences and discontinuities of different forms of individual and orchestrated violence, encompassing political and social violence alongside torture, intimate partner violence, rape and broader forms of structural or institutionalised violence.

4th - 6Th September 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK




Background: Recognising a recent growth in academic interest in the complex social and political significance of human corporeality, the British Academy International Partnership between the University of Edinburgh, UK and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, aims to explore how a focus on the transformations of human forms and substances can offer new ways to investigate how violence, migration and health are linked in the lives of people across the Southern African region. After the success of our first workshop in Johannesburg in April 2012, we invite applicants to participate in the second of three workshops taking place as part of the “Transforming Bodies: Health, Migration and Violence in Southern Africa” research partnership. Between 2012 and 2014, the partnership seeks to bring together emerging and established scholars working in a range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences across the Southern African region, in order to generate new comparative and theoretical approaches towards understanding the changing significance of human corporeality across the region, and to expand writing, editing and publishing capacity among participants.

Day 1: Wednesday 4th September 2013: Writing workshop day

9 – 9.30 Introduction& Welcome (Joost Fontein)

9.30 – 10.30 Editors panel ‘Getting published’ (Sara Dorman, Paul Nugent, Joost Fontein)

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 -1.00 Breakout session begins

1.00  – 2pm Lunch

2 – 3.30pm Breakout session continues.

3.30 – 4pm Tea

4 – 5.30 pm Keynote address: Nicky Rousseau: “Another story of an African farm: the search for remains at Post Chalmers, Cradock”.

5.30 onwardsCAS BRAAI

Day 2: Thursday 5th September 2013: Research workshop

9 – 10.30am Keynote address: Paul Lane Brutal murders, colonial skull-duggery and post-colonial neglect: the case of the Mau Mau bones in the museum cupboard

10 .30– 11 Coffee

11 – 12.30 Panel 1: Post violence: traces, burials and human remains (co-organised with ERC research programme Corpses of Mass violence and Genocide)

Discussant: Elisabeth Anstett (CNRS – Corpses of Mass Violence Reesarch programme)

Laura Major – The (un)lovely Bones: Exhuming and reburying human remains in Rwanda 

Ina Jahn and Matthew Wilhem-Solomon – ‘Bones in the Wrong Soil’: Reburial, Belonging and Disinterred Cosmologies in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda.

Matthew Wilhem-Solomon – ‘We hear them dancing on the roof’: Death, Violence and the Urban Form’

12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch

1.30 – 3.30 Panel 2: Post violence: spirits, ghosts and traumas

Leila Bright – Avenging Spirits of the Dead, accountability and Political Violence in Zimbabwe 

LIZ Ravalde – Pentecostal Bodies and Post-War Recovery: Rethinking “Local” vs. “Global” Debates in Uganda through Pentecostalism

Frederica Guglielmo – Medicalising Violence: Technologies of diagnosis in post genocide Rwanda

3.30 – 4 Tea

4 -5.30 Panel 3: Criminalities, security and public ordering

Bianca van Laun – Captured Bodies: Investigating the visual representation of the Paarl march and Poqo

Tessa Diphoorn   – “It’s all about the body”: Cultivating Force Capital to Claim Sovereign Power in Durban, South Africa

T.Nyamunda – From a popular to an absolutist, panoptic State: The makings and meanings of the 1997/8 protests and the government’s violent response in Harare, Zimbabwe

7 – Workshop dinner

Day 3: Friday 6th September 2013: Research workshop

9 – 10.30am Keynote address: Steffen Jensen: “Corporalities of violence: rape and the stabilization of bodies in South Africa”

10.30 – 11 Coffee

11 – 1pm Panel 4: Migration and gendered violence in South Africa

Kirsten Thomson – Exploring the tangibility and realness of the continuous experience of trauma on community health care workers in South Africa

Mara  Mattoscio – Victims or negotiators? Violence against women’s bodies in South African fiction and filmic adaptations

Nataly Woollett– Fragmentation and disconnection: linking HIV, gender based violence (GBV) and health in the South African context

1 – 2 Lunch

2 – 3 Summing up & close