CFP: Encountering Perpetrators: 1-3 September 2015: University of Winchester

Joan Wardrop's picture

Call for Papers
Encountering Perpetrators of Mass Killings, Political Violence and Genocide
1-3 September 2015
University of Winchester

Keynote: Professor Donald Bloxham (University of Edinburgh)

The 20th & 21st centuries have borne witness to mass killings, political violence & genocide. As we move into the new millennium the people who have orchestrated & participated in such acts remain figures of fascination & of revulsion in Western society. Yet despite this enduring fascination, and the importance of understanding the dynamics of violence, there is a reluctance in the public sphere and in education to address the complexities of engaging with or representing these perpetrators.

This reluctance poses the question of just how much is known or understood about those who commit such acts. This interdisciplinary conference aims to confront difficult questions about perpetrators through an exploration of the topic in a variety of memory spaces including literature, film, museums, education, trials & the media.

Possible questions for discussion could include, but are not restricted to:

  • How have those responsible for genocidal violence been represented?
  • How have societies encountered the idea of perpetration & the figure of specific perpetrators?
  • What is the role of the media in defining our engagement with perpetrators?
  • How have societies with a history of political and/or colonial violence confronted past & present acts of genocide?
  • How have war crimes trials influenced our conceptualisation of perpetrator identity?
  • Can we reconcile the need to understand perpetrators with the need to ensure that the victims are not marginalised?
  • What challenges to gender constructions are posed by female perpetrators?
  • How are masculine identities constructed in association with genocidal practices?
  • How are perpetrators of mass rape represented?
  • How have perpetrators been represented in commemorative culture and education?

Individual paper proposals of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a brief CV, should be sent to encountering.perpetrators@gmail.com by 31 March 2015. Established scholars, emerging scholars in the field, research students & educators are all encouraged to apply.

Dr Kara Critchell, Research Assistant in History, Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex
Dr Emiliano Perra, Senior Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Winchester

cross-posted from H-Memory