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
Overriding politics and injustices

In October 2011, twenty skulls of the Herero and Nama people were repatriated from Germany to Namibia. So far, fifty-five skulls and two human skeletons have been repatriated to Namibia and preparations for the return of more skulls from Germany were at an advanced stage at the time of writing this article. Nonetheless, the skulls and skeletons that were returned from Germany in the past have been disappointingly laden with complexities and politics, to such an extent that they have not yet been handed over to their respective communities for mourning and burials. In this context, this article seeks to investigate the practice of ‘anonymising’ the presence of human remains in society by exploring the art and politics of the Namibian state’s memory production and sanctioning in enforcing restrictions on the affected communities not to perform, as they wish, their cultural and ritual practices for the remains of their ancestors.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

This article considers the contexts and processes of forensic identification in 2004 post-tsunami Thailand as examples of identity politics. The presence of international forensic teams as carriers of diverse technical expertise overlapped with bureaucratic procedures put in place by the Thai government. The negotiation of unified forensic protocols and the production of estimates of identified nationals straddle biopolitics and thanatocracy. The immense identification task testified on the one hand to an effort to bring individual bodies back to mourning families and national soils, and on the other hand to determining collective ethnic and national bodies, making sense out of an inexorable and disordered dissolution of corporeal as well as political boundaries. Individual and national identities were the subject of competing efforts to bring order to,the chaos, reaffirming the cogency of the body politic by mapping national boundaries abroad. The overwhelming forensic effort required by the exceptional circumstances also brought forward the socio-economic and ethnic disparities of the victims, whose post-mortem treatment and identification traced an indelible divide between us and them.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head

This article considers James Baldwin’s last published novel, Just Above My Head (1979), as the culmination of his exploration of kinship, reflecting on the ways distance and loss characterize African-American familial relations. By analyzing Baldwin’s representation of Hall Montana’s relationship to, and mourning of, his younger brother Arthur, this article argues that JAMH revises the terms of the black family to imagine an alternative, errant kinship that is adoptive, migratory, and sustained through songs of joy and grief. My approach to the novel’s portrayal of kinship is indebted to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation (1990), in which he defines “errantry” as a fundamental characteristic of diaspora that resists the claustrophobic, filial violence and territorial dispossession that are slavery’s legacies. Baldwin represents errant kinship in JAMH through his inclusion of music and formal experimentation. Departing from previous scholarship that reads JAMH as emblematic of the author’s artistic decline, I interpret the novel’s numerous syntactic and figurative experiments as offering new formal insight into his portrait of brotherly love. Baldwin’s integration of two distinctive leitmotifs, blood and song, is therefore read as a formal gesture toward a more capacious and migratory kinship.

James Baldwin Review

. Eurocentrism has taught us to see the potential end of an era in every relative change in Western power. Thinking about the role of humanitarianism today requires that we don’t reproduce or unwittingly celebrate Western-led order by mourning the end of a history that never actually existed. Given past and present non-Western experiences of liberal order, we might ask: what’s there to mourn? My personal experiences of research and knowledge production regarding humanitarianism have reinforced in me an anti-colonial ethos – an intellectual opposition to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: Gill Rye and Michael Worton

The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.

Open Access (free)
Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction

to their daughters as vampires and explores a specifically feminine melancholia. Yet the figure of the female vampire also offers a suggestive means of reading Chawaf ’s writing as autobiographical fiction. A recurring figure of a bleeding female vampire in Vers la lumière shows up the ways in which melancholia stains and contaminates autobiographical writing, reconfiguring the relation between text and writing subject and even, perhaps, allowing unspeakable loss to be spoken. Melancholia and vampirism: Freud and Kristeva In his  essay, ‘Mourning and melancholia

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Open Access (free)
Trauma, dream and narrative

   Louise L. Lambrichs: trauma, dream and narrative The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death of those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. Bringing together themes of loss and recompense, Lambrichs’s novels trace with infinite delicacy the reactions of those who suffer and seek obsessively for comfort and understanding. But equally they perform a subtle and often chilling evocation of the secrets, lies and crimes that

in Women’s writing in contemporary France

: controlling the population. An economy of silence As Robert Hertz underscores in his analysis of funerary rites,29 the management of the dead thus connects back to two essential dimensions, which are the position of the deceased in a family and community network, and the maintenance of the symbolic order through the respect of funerary rites. These involve, as we have mentioned, a treatment of the body and a temporality through which the work of mourning for close friends and family develops, along with a resorption of the disorder caused by the intrusion of death into the

in Destruction and human remains
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp

.spiegel.de/​kultur/​gesellschaft/​holocaust-​ mahnmal- ​ l ea- ​ rosh- ​ brueskiert- ​ juedische- ​ gemeinde- ​ a - ​ 3 55600.html (accessed 5 December 2013). In line with the Halakha, the entire body of the deceased is considered a unity created in the image of God. Consequently, any removed part of the body should be subject to burial; only in this way can the bodily resurrection of the person in her entity be secured. The place of burial of body parts is, therefore, also treated as sacred. See, for instance, M. Lamm, The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000). 5 ZB, ‘Der

in Human remains in society