The manifold materialities of human remains
Claudia Fonseca and Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Joseph Jaconelli

that was characterised by winner-take-all outcomes. 34 What is a trial? 60 In each case the Apology purports, rather, to recount Socrates’ speech in his own defence. Of course, the extent to which these works provide accurate summaries of the trials of Jesus and Socrates, free of the interpretations of their followers, has long been controversial. 61 Jeremy Bentham, ‘Rationale of judicial evidence, specially applied to English practice’, in J. Bowring (ed.), The Works of Jeremy Bentham (11 vols, Edinburgh, 1843), vi, p. 355. 62 Jeremy Bentham, ‘Draught of a code

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700