“Approaching Perpetrators: Ethnographic Insights on Ethics, Methodology and Theory,” is a three day workshop taking place at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia from May 14-16, 2014. Building upon a conversation initiated surrounding a panel at last year’s American Anthropology Association (AAA) meeting, participants are taking a nuanced approach to the personal, social, cultural, economic, political, and historical contexts through which people become perpetrators of violence, broadly defined. Participants will examine events from more subtle forms of everyday violence to large-scale genocides and related mass atrocities, as well as the politics of memory and history that influence transitioning and post-conflict communities’ responses to perpetrators’ actions. The following research questions will be addressed: What does the word “perpetrator” mean and how is it applied in different settings? What might ethnographic fieldwork among perpetrators look like? What are some of the particular ethical and methodological challenges of conducting fieldwork among perpetrators? And finally, how can engaging with perpetrators enhance existing anthropological theories regarding everyday violence and mass atrocities, and their aftermath?
*Funding for this workshop has been generously provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Special thanks also goes out to Tim Shew and Tal Nitsán for helping to organize the workshop, and Marc Ellison for designing and maintaining the website.
For more information, please contact Dr. Erin Jessee at firstname.lastname@example.org.