Pollution, contamination and the neglected dead in post-war Saigon
community and golf course on a large, adjacent marshy plot that
belongs to the Airport Authority.
The cemeteries are located in swamp lands next to Tan Son Nhat
airport, which became the largest American air base during the
Vietnam War. The marsh is bright green. The almost unnatural hues
of tall grasses seem oddly out of place. The swamp is surrounded by
tight rows of narrow houses, carpentry workshops and street-seller
stalls. The marshy landscape looks tentative, in movement. The land
is flat, but the eye cannot see very far; the horizon is short. It is one
area of the
Borders, ticking clocks and timelessness among temporary labour migrants in Israel
Robin A. Harper and Hani Zubida
Source: Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 2013.
Note: *Including FSU European Republics.
tion of workers, many migrants (and now their descendants as well) are increasingly becoming a permanent segment of Israeli demographics. For the workers who
imagined short stays and quick returns home, time morphed the locus of their lives.
Modern Western standard temporal references are linked to the virtually universal
use of the Gregorian calendar, the Christian era, international standard time and
clock time (Zerubavel 1982
A war of extermination, grave looting, and culture wars in the American West
resources (gold and lumber
in California), and malign neglect.
Scholars generally agree (with a few dissenters) that what happened under American rule in California meets the standards of
the United Nations post-Second World War definition of ‘genocide’.8
In the early 1940s, historian John Caughey used the term ‘heartless
liquidation’,9 while demographer Sherburne Cook preferred ‘social
homicide’.10 More recently, novelist Larry McMurtry puts it colloquially: ‘During the Gold Rush, exterminationists were thick on the
ground. Indians were killed as casually as rabbits.’11
Machines of mass incineration in fact, fiction, and forensics
Robert Jan van Pelt
-observance of religious law led
to a separation between an individual and the Jewish community.
These discussions acquired greater urgency in the Age of Emanci
pation, when it became possible for a Jew to fully participate in
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120 Robert Jan van Pelt
civil society without having to take the radical step of conversion.
Nevertheless, the question arose of whether there was a boundary
short of conversion that those born as Jews should not cross if
they were to remain acknowledged as Jews by orthodox Jewry. In
the early twentieth century
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
concerned with exhumation and the ways in which the dead
body (or, depending on one’s view, those speaking in the name of the
dead) compels, ‘disciplines’, those around it to react in certain ways,
calling forth particular practices or rituals. In short, both the body
exhumed and the body exhuming is enjoined within and between
the terms ‘politics of dead bodies’ and ‘disciplines of the dead’.
The TRC: bodies of evidence and bodies
Although not included in its mandate, the TRC exhumed a limited
number of bodies between March 1997 and June 1998.8 Many