Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Call for Papers

Conference panel: "Facing the former enemy: memories of war and war crimes"

8th biennial conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Vienna, 8-12 September 2004

Deadline: 1st March 2004

The twentieth century has often been described as an age of extreme political violence on an unprecedented scale. Acts of brutality have left a host of horrifying and traumatic memories in Europe and other parts of the world. This workshop examines memories in the aftermath of war, e.g. recollections of massacres, forceful displacement, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Contributors to this workshop are invited to explore local face-to-face situations in which social or personal memories of political violence are confronted.

The workshop aims at paying attention not only to the perspectives of former victims, but also to the points of view of former perpetrators. Under what circumstances is forgiveness and reconciliation possible? How is memory mobilised in identity politics that sustain animosity? To what extent are memories of war and war crimes intertwined with collective or personal sentiments of victimhood or guilt? How are memories reshaped in official acts of commemoration, and in what ways do local, national, and international memories interact and perhaps contradict each other? What are the effects of museums, memorials, historical writing, literature, works of art, including popular art forms such as popular theatre, in the perpetuation of war-time memories? Is there such a thing as an aesthetics of atrocity, and a tourism of terror?

Other questions that participants might address are: What effect do judicial trials have on the local, nation-wide and international remembrance of war-time atrocities? What are the conflicts of memory that arise within local or national communities which have to come to terms with the presence of former collaborators in their midst?

We welcome ethnographic case-studies as well as papers that re-examine the issue of social memory from a cross-disciplinary angle, for instance combining anthropological with psychological approaches to trauma and memory.


Francesca Cappelletto, Dipartimento di Psicologia e Antropologia Culturale, Università di Verona, Italy.
Email: Francesca.Cappelletto@univr.it

Anne Friederike Müller, Department of German, King's College London, UK.
Email: Anne-Friederike.Mueller@kcl.ac.uk

Please send proposals for papers to anne-friederike.mueller@kcl.ac.uk by 1st March 2004.