Violence, Memory, and Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Conference
January 30-February 1, 2012; University of South Florida, Tampa
Sponsored by the USF Humanities Institute and the Departments of Anthropology and History
The ever-repeated incidents of non-combat-related massacres and mass violence that happen in time of conflict have been a source of analysis by academics, the media, and legal authorities. Typically, such events are concealed, and witnesses silenced or ignored, often in the name of “moving on.” Yet the impulse to tell the story seems universal, and may be essential if true reconciliation is to be achieved. Worldwide, movements have emerged to break the silence and to restore dignity to those who died. In many cases the mass grave has become a potent source of evidence that may serve to validate the accounts of witnesses, whether the outcome is prosecution or more simply to “set the record straight” for history. In many contexts, artists have been inspired to create visual art, literature, and theatre as ways to narrate, validate, or memorialize such atrocities.
Although many disciplines have contributed to the worldwide debate on violence, memory, and human rights, rarely do they come together to share their insights. This small conference will offer a unique, interdisciplinary forum, in which forensic scientists may interact with poets, or historians with legal scholars, anthropologists and philosophers. They will examine questions such as: What circumstances precipitate mass violence? What is the impact on surviving individuals, families, and communities? How are massacres remembered – or forgotten? When and how can perpetrators be brought to justice, and victims acknowledged and compensated? What is the importance of exhumation and the presence of the physical body? What is the role of scholars, not only in documenting atrocities, but also in facilitating subsequent action and reparation? And how do the humanities, in the form of art, literature, poetry, music, film, and performance offer unique insights into both the persistence of trauma and recovery?
Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Garzón is one of six investigating judges for Spain's National Court. As investigating magistrate he has handled many of Spain's high-profile cases, involving drug trafficking, corruption, and the Basque terrorist group ETA. He rose to prominence with his indictment of leaders of the former Chilean military junta, including the ailing dictator Augusto Pinochet, on charges of genocide, terrorism and torture during the 1976-1983 dictatorship.
Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights and Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs and at Rutgers University. President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2011-13). Author of the award-winning Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide (California, 2005) and six edited or co-edited collections, Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence (Rutgers, 2010), Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation (Duke, 2009), Night of the Khmer Rouge: Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia (Paul Robeson Gallery, 2007), Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide (California, 2002), Genocide: An Anthropological Reader (Blackwell, 2002), and Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions (Cambridge, 1999). He is currently working on several other book projects, including a co-edited volume on the legacies of genocide and mass violence, a book on 9/11 and Abu Ghraib, and a book on the politics of memory and justice in the aftermath of the Cambodian genocide.
Additional invited speakers will be featured. We now invite contributions from scholars and artists from across the disciplines, and addressing any period in history. The organizers hope to develop an edited volume drawn from conference presentations. To be considered, please email:
A title and 250-word abstract to: Dr. Elizabeth Bird: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Proposals for one-hour sessions, roundtables, or other formats are also encouraged
• Deadline: Nov. 15, 2011
• Decision notification: Dec. 1, 2011. Upon acceptance, a conference fee of $35 will be required – waived for USF faculty and students.
The conference will be held on the campus of the University of South Florida. Special rates (between $79 and $109 per room, per night) will be available at several hotels within 5 minutes of campus.
Details of the conference, including additional speakers, hotel information, and specific location, will be updated on the website of the Humanities Institute:
Professor and Chair
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33620
office: 813-974 6209 Email: email@example.com
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