The international event ‘Material traces of mass death: the exhumed object’ will be held on 4th-6th November 2015, Marseille.
Within the context of a historiography and of practices in renewal, the multidisciplinary team wishes to pursue reflections on a particular dimension of the material traces of mass deaths. If mass graves shelter human residues of the victims they also contain various objects, which equally challenge professionals of exhumations, researchers or relatives of the victims. Too often left aside (except by archaeologists), being considered appendices of skeletal left overs, these objects are not only rich in information, but they are also carriers of emotions and multiple interrogations. It is to these objects, signifying per se, their function in the practice of exhumation and their uses posterior to the practices of reburial and maintenance of memory, which this seminar is devoted.
Papers may focus in a non-exhaustive manner on the following themes:
– The object as a source: The object in a mass graves is a major carrier of knowledge: it represents one of the fundamental elements of expertise, anthropological treatment and scientific data.
– The object as a sign: Material traces of the massacre, which constitute the object, refer to the human being whom possessed it as a sort of metonymy and therefore disposes of a stronger evocative power. Thus the objects find themselves in the centre of the museum’s representations of mass violence.
The paper proposals, approximately 300 words and written in French or in English, should be accompanied by a brief CV (1 page maximum) and sent before the 12th January 2015 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org