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Why exhume? Why identify?

in situations of mass violence has helped open new avenues of research, demonstrating, in particular, the procedural dimension of extreme violence and illuminating how the ideology of agents of death is once again translated into the very treatment of bodies. The second phase of the programme, the preliminary findings of which are presented in this volume’s contributions,4 interrogates the treatment of corpses and human remains after the disaster, focusing specifically on their possible discovery and identification. The study of these two separate enterprises – the

in Human remains and identification

of Joyeux, who gave us a great deal of trouble, desired me to write to his father that he had died the death of a hero and, when I pointed out “Nous ne sommes pas encore à ce point-là” was quite hurt. Him, I did manage to see again, being very noisy in another ward.’8 Another patient, who ‘was proud of his command of the English language, kept crying pathetically for hours:  “Seestair, seestair, elevate me – I cannot respire.” ’ Tayler explained to him that the nature of his wound meant that he must lie flat, but it took some time to convince him of this.9 Overwork

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Mass graves in post-war Malaysia

sook ching (purge through cleansing) massacres  – has become symbolic of Japanese brutality. The death toll from these massacres remains contested; estimates range from 5,000 to 50,000.2 As a result, multiple mass graves scar the territory’s landscape. While these serve as physical testament to this dark period in the country’s history, many of these sites remain relatively unknown and scarcely remembered.3 Often, documented cases of exhumations – be it Bergen-Belsen in Germany, Vinnytsia in Ukraine, or Priaranza in Spain, to name but a few sites where mass graves

in Human remains and identification

also the devastation of Nature brought about by the war with the destruction of man wrought by the same conflict. ‘Now the desolation of Nature alone suggests what a desolation there was of man’, he wrote in 1920, ‘The terrible woods are impressionist pictures of the ruined vitals of great regiments, and you can hold a forest in your mind as you would a skull in your hands and say, “This was a forest. This was an army”.’4 This view of the destruction of the natural world being intrinsically linked to the deaths of countless soldiers was duplicated by Lieutenant R

in A war of individuals
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods

citizen of Orbus – responds that ‘[w]omen are just planets that attract the wrong species’ (69). Certainly, the unloved Orbus presents as the victim of an abusive relationship. Asks Billie, sarcastically, ‘We didn’t do anything, did we? Just fucked it to death and kicked it when it wouldn’t get up’ (8). Even as it is on the receiving end of exploitation, it is also the setting for it, particularly of a shallow kind of masculinist exploitation – what one critic has described as a ‘mutated form’ of ‘patriarchal gender dichotomies’ (McCulloch 2012: 65). On Orbus, men no

in Literature and sustainability
Sylvie Germain and the generic problems of the Christian novel

the death of his art . . . Whatever the Catholic novel is, it is not propaganda’ (Scott, The Struggle, p. ). As we will see, point of view must also be understood in the sense of the author’s choice of narrative focalisation: the deployment of a first- or third-person narrator; the use of free indirect discourse. Third, and this point is implicit in Scott’s phrases ‘and finally the reintegration of this supernatural plane into the world of flesh-and-blood characters’, and ‘the clear victory of one point of view over another’ (above, my emphases), our analysis must

in Women’s writing in contemporary France

.3 Yet, up until very recently, the treatment of the bodies resulting from mass violence – or, for that matter, this extreme violence itself – has received little attention from anthropologists.4 HRMV.indb 181 01/09/2014 17:28:43 182  Élisabeth Anstett However, a shift began with the large-scale exhumations under­ taken in Bosnia and Spain, which shed new light on the fate of bodies in such situations and led anthropologists to consider the agendas underpinning a set of practices which, in a real sense, link the killers to their victims even after the death of

in Human remains and mass violence

between those of the soul and those of the senses brings with it a doubling of the figure of the serpent, who is now called to figure the ambivalence of pleasure. The pleasures of sense, also described as those of ‘the multitude’ or of the ‘houses 104 Readings in Egypt’, ‘bring on death’, but not death as the separation of soul and body, celebrated in Plato’s Phaedo as the liberation of the soul from its prison in the body, ‘but that [soul death] which is the destruction of the soul by vice’.8 The serpent that brings on soul death will prevail until both body and

in The new aestheticism
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Portraying the exhumation and reburial of Polish Jewish Holocaust victims in the pages of yizkor books

accomplices killed Poland’s Jews mainly in death camps and concentration camps, but a sizable proportion of the victims perished in ghettos, in hiding, in open fields, in forests, by the side of roads, and in small labour camps unequipped to cope with a cascade of dead bodies. And since the rate of killing in death camps and concentration camps eventually exceeded their capacity to incinerate their victims, by the end of the Second World War these camps, too, were overrun by corpses. By the same token, hundreds of Jewish cemeteries lay in ruins, desecrated, their human

in Human remains and identification
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The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58

6 Renationalizing bodies? The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58 1 Jean-Marc Dreyfus Introduction Corpses are not a research subject that a historian would normally choose, and less still corpses en masse. Whether approaches to mass violence are of political, social or cultural history, the ­historical analysis of societies tends to focus on the living, and corpses are discussed only in terms of a social group’s structure in relation to death, the social definition of which can be addressed only through a detailed cultural

in Human remains and mass violence