An international conference hosted by the Department of History, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, 4-6 July 2012.
Participants include: Gilbert Achcar, Vic Gatrell, Norman Geras, Ludmilla Jordanova, Marina Warner, Peter Wilson.
Call for papers:
Atrocity remains one of the most disturbingly dramatic and complex phenomena in history. It is dramatic for the obvious reason that it concentrates horror in specific events, which is why great artists like Goya, Turner or Picasso were drawn to particular atrocities when they sought to condemn general developments that they abhorred.
For all its obvious dramatic impact, however, the meaning and significance of atrocity is complex. What one group views as an atrocity, another can either deny or even view as just retribution. The very emergence of the concept needs to be explored and traced in literature, art and history.
Likewise, the roles to which atrocities have been put demand analysis. For atrocity can be used to cow existing populations, to mobilize movements, to launch wars. It can be state sponsored or, as in lynchings and pogroms, popularly supported and initiated. It can focus on people themselves or on what holds particular cultural (including religious) significance for them. It can be episodic or systematised in institutions and facilities. It can even, as in the self-immolation with which the risings of the Arab Spring began – be self inflicted to draw attention to an unbearable predicament.
Moreover, the very recognition of an event or phenomenon as an atrocity is often dependent on labours of construal or complex processes of resonance that tell us much about a given political and social order. Denial of atrocity, meanwhile, has enormous significance.
In order to explore issues such as these, and to mark our fortieth anniversary, the Department of History will be holding an international conference on ATROCITY IN QUESTION 4-6 July 2012. We are interested in facilitating wide-ranging discussions that will help us to explore the phenomenon across periods, cultures, regions and disciplines. Conference panels will be constituted on the basis of papers submitted.
Should you wish to attend the conference, please contact us at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to propose a paper, please supply a short abstract (100-200 words) of your proposal.
Tel. 01206 872313
Dr. Jeremy Krikler
Department of History
University of Essex
Tel. 01206 872313
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