Open Access (free)
Death, landscape and power among the Duha Tuvinians of northern Mongolia
Benedikte Møller Kristensen

3 The proper funeral: death, landscape and power among the Duha Tuvinians of northern Mongolia Benedikte Møller Kristensen The traditional funeral practice of the Duha reindeer nomads of northern Mongolia consists in placing corpses on the open ground in the wild forest (xer) to be eaten by wild animals. Under socialism, the Mongolian government issued a ban on open-air (il tavah) funerals and imposed compulsory burial of the dead in cemeteries (Delaplace 2006). This ban was a part of the Mongolian People’s Republic’s ‘dead-body politics’ (Verdery 1999) aimed

in Governing the dead
Jose Manuel Varas Insunza

This article describes the operational practices of the city morgue in Santiago, Chile and their effects on the family members who come to claim the bodies of their loved ones. It explores the impact of the body‘s passage through the morgue on the observance of rituals surrounding death and mourning. An underlying conflict can be identified between the states partial appropriation of and interference with the body and intrinsic needs associated with the performance of funeral rites in accordance with cultural and religious precepts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
From legal procedures to collective forgetting
Johanna Lehr

This article seeks to show that the bodies of Jewish people who died in the Drancy internment camp between 1941 and 1944 were handled on French soil in a doubly normalised manner: first by the police and judicial system, and then in relation to funeral arrangements. My findings thus contradict two preconceived ideas that have become firmly established in collective memory: first, the belief that the number who died in the Drancy camp is difficult to establish; and second, the belief that the remains of internees who died in the camp were subjected to rapid and anonymous burial in a large mass grave in Drancy municipal cemetery.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Helen Jarvis

The Khmer Rouge forbade the conduct of any funeral rites at the time of the death of the estimated two million people who perished during their rule (1975–79). Since then, however, memorials have been erected and commemorative ceremonies performed, both public and private, especially at former execution sites, known widely as the killing fields. The physical remains themselves, as well as images of skulls and the haunting photographs of prisoners destined for execution, have come to serve as iconic representations of that tragic period in Cambodian history and have been deployed in contested interpretations of the regime and its overthrow.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Joachim Neander

During the Second World War and its aftermath, the legend was spread that the Germans turned the bodies of Holocaust victims into soap stamped with the initials RIF, falsely interpreted as made from pure Jewish fat. In the years following liberation, RIF soap was solemnly buried in cemeteries all over the world and came to symbolise the six million killed in the Shoah, publicly showing the determination of Jewry to never forget the victims. This article will examine the funerals that started in Bulgaria and then attracted several thousand mourners in Brazil and Romania, attended by prominent public personalities and receiving widespread media coverage at home and abroad. In 1990 Yad Vashem laid the Jewish soap legend to rest, and today tombstones over soap graves are falling into decay with new ones avoiding the word soap. RIF soap, however, is alive in the virtual world of the Internet and remains fiercely disputed between believers and deniers.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Benoît Pouget

Based on a study of intersecting French archives (those of the Val de Grâce Hospital, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Archives Diplomatiques), and with the support of numerous printed sources, this article focuses on the handling of the bodies of French soldiers who died of cholera during the Crimean War (1854–56). As a continuation of studies done by historians Luc Capdevila and Danièle Voldman, the aim here is to consider how the diseased corpses of these soldiers reveal both the causes and circumstances of their deaths. Beyond the epidemiological context, these dead bodies shed light on the sanitary conditions and suffering resulting from years of military campaigns. To conclude, the article analyses the material traces left by these dead and the way that the Second Empire used them politically, giving the remains of leaders who died on the front lines of the cholera epidemic a triumphant return to the country and a state funeral.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Magdalena Figueredo and Fabiana Larrobla

Between 1975 and 1979, thirty-one unidentified bodies bearing marks of torture appeared at various locations along Uruguays coastline. These bodies were material proof of the death flights implemented in neighbouring Argentina after the military coup. In Uruguay, in a general context of political crisis, the appearance of these anonymous cadavers first generated local terror and was then rapidly transformed into a traumatic event at the national level. This article focuses on the various reports established by Uruguayan police and mortuary services. It aims to show how,the administrative and funeral treatments given at that time to the dead bodies, buried anonymously (under the NN label) in local cemeteries, make visible some of the multiple complicities between the Uruguayan and Argentinean dictatorships in the broader framework of the Condor Plan. The repressive strategy implemented in Argentina through torture and forced disappearance was indeed echoed by the bureaucratic repressive strategy implemented in Uruguay through incomplete and false reports, aiming to make the NN disappear once again.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Regnar Kristensen

car followed by two military vehicles.4 Another, that a commercial aircraft had been hired to transfer it.5 The funeral itself was apparently also a major security challenge for the military. Quoting again from El Reforma: Five army vehicles yesterday protected the convoy of ten cars which transferred the body of Beltrán Leyva to the graveyard of Jardines de Humaya, where he was buried in the presence of family and friends, mostly women and children. More than 150 soldiers blocked the main roads to the cemetery in a strong and vigilant operation. Women and children

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Robin Norris

The ink spilled defining weeping as women's work in Beowulf far exceeds the volume of their tears. We have made too much of the summary line at the opening of the Finnsburh episode declaring Hildeburh a ‘geomuru ides’ (sad woman) (1075b) as ‘meotodsceaft bemearn’ (she mourned over the decree of fate) (1077a). 1 At the funeral she directs for her son and brother, ‘ides gnornode, / geomrode giddum’ (the woman mourned with songs) (1117–18). 2

in Dating Beowulf
Open Access (free)
Female sexual agency and male victims
Jenny DiPlacidi

Mysterious Mother ( 1768 ), a Gothic play involving mother–son incest in which the mother seduces her son on the night of her husband’s funeral. The text unites a condemnation of the Catholic church with anxieties over inheritance and female sexual agency. Walpole’s play is unique not only in the clear description of sexual intercourse between mother and son, but also in its convoluted publication history

in Gothic incest