• Mostar bridge, Sarajevo
  • Victims of genocide, Nyamata memorial, Rwanda
  • Parade of coffins, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Mountain gorilla twins, Rwanda
  • Mosque, Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • Altar, Nyamata memorial, Rwanda
  • Remembering the dead, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Rural life, Rwanda
  • Victims of genocide, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Prisoners at work, Rwanda
  • Pigeon square, Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • VIctims of genocide, Ntarama, Rwanda

Call for papers: Panel on “New Horizons in Perpetrator Research” for the International Association of Genocide Scholars meeting

October 22nd, 2014


Call for Papers:
New Horizons in Perpetrator Research

Thematic double panel for the 12th Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
July 8-12, 2015
Yerevan, Armenia
Deadline: November 15, 2014 to meet the IAGS’ January 23, 2015 deadline

Organizers: Kjell Anderson, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies (NIOD), Netherlands, & Erin Jessee, University of Strathclyde, UK

The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) will hold its twelfth meeting in Yerevan on 8-12 July 2015, hosted by the Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute. Director of the AGMI Hayk Demoyan will serve as Local Conference Chair. The conference theme is “Comparative Analysis of 20th Century Genocides.”

As part of this milestone conference we are organizing a double panel exploring new horizons in perpetrator research. Although much has been written about the causes of genocide there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of perpetrators. In particular, there is a relative lack of research and theorizing focusing on micro-level perpetrators and the perpetration of genocide.
We invite papers that take a nuanced look at the pathways through which people become perpetrators, the process of perpetration, the effects of perpetration on perpetrators, and the challenges of dealing with perpetrators after atrocity. We are particularly interested in papers which:

  • Involve new theoretical, methodological, and ethical insights;
  • Draw from original research;
  • Focus on the micro level;
  • Consider lesser-known cases of genocide, broadly defined;
  • Incorporate criminological, sociological, anthropological, and other social scientific approaches

Interested presenters should send their paper title and abstract (250 words maximum in English) and a short 3-4 sentence biographical statement to: erinjessee@gmail.com and anderson.kjell@gmail.com.

New Journal Article: “Confessing Animals,” Redux – A Conversation between Alexander Freund and Erin Jessee

September 2nd, 2014


The latest issue of the Oral History Review has just launched and in addition to an impressive series of articles by Henry Greenspan, Sherna Berger Gluck, Linda Shopes, and the late Kim Lacy Rogers, among others, it includes an extended version of a recent online exchange between Alexander Freund and I titled “Confessing Animals,” Redux: A Conversation between Alexander Freund and Erin Jessee.” Using Freund’s recent OHR article “‘Confessing Animals’: Towards a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview” as a starting point, we discuss the challenges of adapting oral historical practices in different settings and in the face of growing popular and professional interest in “storytelling,” broadly defined.

Al-Jazeera feature on “Mapping Uganda’s Massacres”

August 6th, 2014


Deo Komakech conducts an interview in Bolo

Al-Jazeera’s online digital magazine has just published a feature piece I co-authored with photojournalist Marc Ellison on the work of Refugee Law Project’s Deo Komakech in northern Uganda. From his hometown of Kitgum, Deo has taken on an incredible project that seeks to document previously unreported mass atrocities that occurred during the recent twenty-year civil war in northern Uganda, whether perpetrated by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) or the Ugandan military. Since launching the project in September 2010, he has archived Ugandan newspaper reports pertaining to over 4,500 LRA attacks and abductions and trained community leaders across northern Uganda in documenting additional atrocities that have yet to be reported. Thus far, an additional 230 attacks have been revealed, though more will undoubtedly follow as he extends. Read the rest of this entry »


May 23rd, 2014



The Oral History Review blog has recently published the second part of an email exchange Alex Freund and I had surrounding the publication of his new article “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.” In it, we discuss the troubling tendency for many oral history practitioners to, following the stated benefits of narrative therapy, claim that the interview experience is inherently cathartic and healing for interviewees. To read part two of the exchange, visit: Storytelling in Oral History: An Exchange, Part 2.

Now online: Presentations from the Approaching Perpetrators workshop!

May 21st, 2014


Last week, the Approaching Perpetrators workshop took place at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Generously supported by the Liu Institute, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the workshop facilitated the establishment of a new network of ethnographers skilled in working with perpetrators, broadly defined, and provided an opportunity for indepth knowledge exchange on topics related to negotiating gatekeepers and building relationships, language and the consequences of labelling people as perpetrators, morality, ethics and voice, and managing danger surrounding fieldwork. Read the rest of this entry »


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