Methodological approaches

Mass violence is one of the defining phenomena of the twentieth century, which some have even called the 'century of genocides'. The study of how the dead body is treated can lead us to an understanding of the impact of mass violence on contemporary societies. Corpses of mass violence and genocide, especially when viewed from a biopolitical perspective, force one to focus on the structures of the relations between all that participates in the enfolding case study. Argentina is an extraordinary laboratory in the domain of struggle against impunity and of 'restoration of the truth'. It constitutes a useful paradigm in the context of reflection on the corpses of mass violence. Its special character, in the immediate aftermath of the military dictatorship, is to test almost the entirety of juridical mechanisms in the handling of state crimes. The trigger for both the intercommunal violence and the civil war was the mass murders by the Ustaša. This book discusses the massacres carried out by the Ustaša in Croatia during the Second World War. After a brief presentation of the historical background, the massacres carried out by the Ustaša militia and their corpse disposal methods are described. Using Rwanda as a case study, the book proposes an agenda for ethnographic research to explore the relationship between concealment and display in contexts of genocide. This relationship is explored in detail after a discussion of the historical background to the 1994 genocide.

Yehonatan Alsheh

1 The biopolitics of corpses of mass violence and genocide Yehonatan Alsheh Introduction For the past four decades, students of biopolitics have been probing why the spectacular growth in the application of technologies and policies that aim at the optimization of human life has been articu­lated with a parallel proliferation of human death. Various studies have been suggesting many objects or sites that are arguably highly symptomatic of the issue at hand – a privileged epitome of the biopolitical quandary. The most famous of these is the camp that Giorgio

in Human remains and mass violence
Disposal and concealment in genocide and mass violence

Destruction and human remains investigates a crucial question frequently neglected from academic debate in the fields of mass violence and Genocide Studies: what is done to the bodies of the victims after they are killed? Indeed, in the context of mass violence and genocide, death does not constitute the end of the executors' work. Following the abuses carried out by the latter, their victims' remains are treated and manipulated in very particular ways, amounting in some cases to social engineering. The book explores this phase of destruction, whether by disposal, concealment or complete annihilation of the body, across a range of extreme situations to display the intentions and socio-political framework of governments, perpetrators and bystanders. The book will be split into three sections; 1) Who were the perpetrators and why were they chosen? It will be explored whether a division of labour created social hierarchies or criminal careers, or whether in some cases this division existed at all. 2) How did the perpetrators kill and dispose of the bodies? What techniques and technologies were employed, and how does this differ between contrasting and evolving circumstances? 3) Why did the perpetrators implement such methods and what does this say about their motivations and ideologies? The book will focus in particular on the twentieth century, displaying innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and dealing with case studies from different geographical areas across the globe. The focus will be placed on a re-evaluation of the motivations, the ideological frameworks and the technical processes displayed in the destruction of bodies.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal is a biannual, peer-reviewed publication which draws together the different strands of academic research on the dead body and the production of human remains en masse, whether in the context of mass violence, genocidal occurrences or environmental disasters. Inherently interdisciplinary, the journal publishes papers from a range of academic disciplines within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Human Remains and Violence invites contributions from scholars working in a variety of fields and interdisciplinary research is especially welcome.

Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Timothy Longman

: Cornell University Press ). Guichaoua , A. ( 2005 ), Rwanda 1994: Les Politiques du Génocide à Butare ( Paris : Karthala ). Guichaoua , A. ( 2015 ), From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda 1990–1994 ( Madison : University of Wisconsin Press ). Kimonyo , J-P. ( 2016 ), Rwanda’s Popular Genocide: A Perfect Storm ( Boulder, CO : Lynne Rienner ). Lemarchand , R. ( [2013] 2018 ), ‘ Rwanda: The State of Research’ , originally published May 27, 2013, revised edition published 25 June 2018.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Bert Ingelaere

, S. and Vandeginste , S. (eds), L’Afrique des Grands Lacs, Annuaire 2010–2011 ( Paris : L’Harmattan ), pp. 303 – 18 . Ingelaere , B. ( 2011b ), ‘The ruler’s drum and the people’s shout: Accountability and representation on Rwanda’s hills’ , in Straus , S. and Waldorf , L. (eds), Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence ( Madison : University of Wisconsin Press ), pp. 67 – 78 . Ingelaere , B. ( 2012 ), ‘From Model to Practice: Researching and Representing Rwanda’s “Modernized” Gacaca Courts’ , Critique of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence
Jon Shute

4 Moral discourse and action in relation to the corpse: integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence Jon Shute Introduction: the moral–emotional ‘work’ of serious crime in peacetime and in conflict In stable, late-modern societies, crimes are adjudicated breaches of morality formally defined in law. They are variable in content across place and time, and do not always have a readily identifiable victim or definitions that have the informal moral support of the population; however, many of the most serious offences against the person and property

in Human remains and mass violence
Open Access (free)
Why exhume? Why identify?
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Introduction: why exhume? Why identify?1 Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus This book arises from the second annual conference of the ‘Corpses of mass violence and genocide’ research programme held in Manchester on 9–11 September 2013, forming one part of a threephase study.2 The first phase, which was the subject of a conference in Paris in 2012 and subsequent publication, focused on the treatment of dead bodies just after the murders themselves.3 Studying the fate of cadavers that have been abandoned, destroyed, dismantled, hidden, traded, or desecrated

in Human remains and identification
Open Access (free)
Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Introduction. Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable Élisabeth Anstett & Jean-Marc Dreyfus Mass violence is one of the defining phenomena of the twentieth century, which some have even called the ‘century of genocides’.1 Scarred by the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor in Ukraine, the Spanish Civil War, the Holocaust, the gulags and, more recently, the crimes against humanity committed in Bosnia, Europe alone offers a range of examples of such extreme events.2 These outbreaks of mass violence particularly affected civilians, unlike most

in Human remains and mass violence