Archive: ‘Anthropology’



Call for papers: IAGS Panel on “Genocidal Symbolic Violence”

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

IAGS

Call for Papers: Panel on “Genocidal Symbolic Violence”

For submission to the IAGS Biennial Meeting, ‘Justice and the Prevention of Genocide’, 9 – 13 July 2017, Brisbane, Australia

Organizers: Dr Erin Jessee (Scottish Oral History Centre, University of Strathclyde) and Dr. Annie Pohlman (The University of Queensland)

Since the 1990s, a growing range of scholarship within comparative genocide studies has analysed the role and function of various forms of excessive and often spectacular torture, mutilation and execution that have been observed during genocides around the world. Some of the earliest studies examined acts of ‘excessive’ violence (Feldman 1991; Malkki 1995; Sutton 1995; Taylor 1999; Boose, 2002) to consider how and why such acts were perceived to be necessary during genocide. These early studies gave rise to analyses of the culturally-specific ‘vivisectionist’ logic that is actively communicated through the extreme forms of violence inflicted upon the bodies of perceived enemies (Appadurai 1998), prompting scholars such as Jacques Semelin (2007) to question whether understanding the symbolic meaning inherent in ‘orgiastic violence’ is potentially ‘the key’ to understanding genocide and related mass atrocities in different settings. (more…)

New Publication: ‘Rwandan Women No More: Female Génocidaires in the Aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide’ in Conflict and Society

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Murambi wood carvings

I’m pleased to announce my article, ‘Rwandan Women No More: Female Génocidaires in the Aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide‘ has just been published in the new anthropology journal, Conflict and Society: Advances in Research. Part of a special section that explores the ethical, methodological, and theoretical insights that can be gained from applying ethnographic methods to the study of perpetrators of political violence, this article examines Rwanda’s admittedly dynamic gender norms as they pertain to the alleged criminal activities of Rwandan women during the 1994 genocide. (more…)

Special Section of new journal, Conflict and Society, on ‘Approaching Perpetrators’

Monday, December 14th, 2015

jnl_cover_air-cs

Congratulations to Ronald Stade, Erella Grassiani, and Alexander Horstmann on the launch of the new anthropology journal, Conflict and Society! As part of its inaugural issue, they have published a special section that includes several excellent papers from the workshop I co-organized in May 2014 with Tal Nitsán on ‘Conflict and Society, Volume 1 (2015)‘. The following is a brief excerpt from the introduction I wrote for the special section:

“The rationale for this special section of Conflict and Society lies in anthropology’s relatively recent and steadily growing application to the study of political violence in its various manifestations, from everyday instances of subtle structural violence to more overt cases of war and mass atrocities. In the late 1990s, Carolyn Nordstrom’s (1997) work among soldiers and ordinary civilians whose lives had been intimately affected by Mozambique’s civil war and Antonius Robben’s (1996) work among survivors and perpetrators of Argentina’s Dirty War enabled an important shift among ethnographers. Whereas in the past ethnographers typically focused on violence and warfare in substate and prestate societies, Nordstrom and Robben emphasized the foundations of political violence in complex state societies. Their work led to the emergence of a small cohort of ethnographers—among them Philippe Bourgois (2003), Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1997, 2002), and Neil Whitehead (2002, 2004)—specialized in what was soon termed “the ethnography of political violence”. (more…)

Call for chapter abstracts extended: Edited volume on “Approaching Perpetrators”

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Prisoners at work, Rwanda

Approaching Perpetrators: Insights on Ethics, Methods, and Theory

Deadline extended: October 31, 2015

Editors: Kjell Anderson, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies,

& Erin Jessee, University of Strathclyde

 

Although much has been written about the causes of genocide and similar mass atrocities, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of perpetrators. While a range of studies have emerged over the past few decades that examine perpetrators’ motives and actions as represented in legal transcripts or through the narratives of survivors, for example, there is a relative paucity of studies that emerge from firsthand qualitative fieldwork with perpetrators themselves. Our volume will address this gap by bringing into conversation for the first time a selection of chapters on perpetrators of genocide and related mass atrocities based entirely on qualitative field research. As such, this volume will explore the personal, social, economic, political and historical contexts through which people from a range of backgrounds become perpetrators, and the theoretical insights that can be gained from engaging with perpetrators’ narratives, facilitating a more nuanced understanding of how genocide and related mass atrocities take shape within societies. (more…)

Call for chapter abstracts: Edited volume on “Approaching Perpetrators”

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Prisoners at work, Rwanda

Call for Chapters

Approaching Perpetrators: Insights on Ethics, Methods, and Theory

Deadline: October 1, 2015

Editors: Kjell Anderson, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies,

& Erin Jessee, University of Strathclyde

Although much has been written about the causes of genocide and similar mass atrocities, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of perpetrators. While a range of studies have emerged over the past few decades that examine perpetrators’ motives and actions as represented in legal transcripts or through the narratives of survivors, for example, there is a relative paucity of studies that emerge from firsthand qualitative fieldwork with perpetrators themselves. Our volume will address this gap by bringing into conversation for the first time a selection of chapters on perpetrators of genocide and related mass atrocities based entirely on qualitative field research. As such, this volume will explore the personal, social, economic, political and historical contexts through which people from a range of backgrounds become perpetrators, and the theoretical insights that can be gained from engaging with perpetrators’ narratives, facilitating a more nuanced understanding of how genocide and related mass atrocities take shape within societies. (more…)

 

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