Open Access (free)
The processing of remains in Catholic circles
Francesca Sbardella

In the Catholic areas of Europe, the human remains (both their bones and the fabrics they touched) of persons considered to have been exceptional are usually stored for transformation into relics. The production and the reproduction of the object-relic takes place within monasteries and is carried out firstly on the material level. In this article I intend to present in detail, from an anthropological standpoint, the practices used to process such remains, the role of the social actors involved and the political-ecclesiastical dynamics connected with them. Owing to obvious difficulties in accessing enclosed communities, such practices are usually overlooked in historiographical and ethno-anthropological analyses, while they should instead be considered the most important moment in the lengthy process intended to give form and meaning to remains, with a view to their exhibition and use in ritual.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

From 1945 until around 1960, ceremonies of a new kind took place throughout Europe to commemorate the Holocaust and the deportation of Jews; ashes would be taken from the site of a concentration camp, an extermination camp, or the site of a massacre and sent back to the deportees country of origin (or to Israel). In these countries, commemorative ceremonies were then organised and these ashes (sometimes containing other human remains) placed within a memorial or reburied in a cemetery. These transfers of ashes have, however, received little attention from historical researchers. This article sets out to describe a certain number of them, all differing considerably from one another, before drawing up a typology of this phenomenon and attempting its analysis. It investigates the symbolic function of ashes in the aftermath of the Second World War and argues that these transfers – as well as having a mimetic relationship to transfers of relics – were also instruments of political legitimisation.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
James Paz

being –​closer to God and his angels in the heavenly hierarchy and capable of interceding between the divine kingdom and the fallen world of mankind –​they were certainly not abstract otherworldly spirits. Saints were embodied beings, both in life and after death, when they remained physically present and accessible through their relics, whether a bone, a lock of hair, a fingernail, textiles, a preaching cross, a comb, a shoe. As such, their miraculous healing powers could be received by ordinary men, women and children by sight, sound, touch, even smell or taste

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
Open Access (free)
Archaeology, networks, and the Smithsonian Institution, 1876–79
James E. Snead

, is sketches of progress, suggestions of hypotheses to direct lines of research, and instructions as to the method of making explorations, and the preservation of relics, etc.’ (Henry to Rau, June 6, 1868.)1 Such ‘sketches of progress,’ however, failed to satisfy Henry’s antiquarian constituents, who continued to send reports piecemeal to Washington. In the absence of a common strategy or a consensus about archaeological methods, correspondents continued to act according to their individualized preferences. Thus over time dissonance increased within the network

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Olivier Thomas Kramsch

Chapter 1 explores a layering of time and space along the border between Germany and the Netherlands. At one time heavily patrolled, the Dutch-German border has been reduced to near-insignificance by recent EU decisions; but borderland signifiers encourage observers to remember and challenge both past and present meanings. The border can be seen as a montage which gives time a spatial representation. It enables a flaneur-like gaze on memory and mobility; a variety of signs present a palimpsest of meanings and historical referents, revealing the strangeness of a ‘blocked temporal passage’ between different types of border regimes. The flaneur recounts the spatial experience of relics of the past, whose afterlives awaken the observer to new conceptual constellations. Indeed, the juxtaposition of arbitrary relics, randomly witnessed, denaturalises assumed truths about the present and about borders, including the spatial power relations of conflicting border regimes

in Migrating borders and moving times
Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Jes Wienberg

of the concept of modernity varies in different crisis interpretations. Second, examples are chosen that may strengthen a particular thesis concerning the past and modernity, while others are overlooked or deliberately excluded. Third, all change can create relics in need of protection and preservation, irrespective of whether a rise or decline of modernity is involved. An emerging modernity means new ideas, new monuments, buildings, places, and landscapes; but it also means that earlier ideas lose their relevance and that the older infrastructure is transformed

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

modernity leads to a greater focus on the past is thus a widely held standpoint. Modernity creates alienation, unrest, and anxiety that need to be compensated for or balanced by narratives from the country of the past. The reaction to modernity is said to be nostalgia as people react to having modernity imposed on them by recalling a lost time, the “wild strawberries” of their youth. And relics of the past that get in the way of modernity are moved to temporal reserves, to archives, libraries, or museums, where they are allowed to survive. Or is it the other way round

in Heritopia