The Displaced Living and the Displaced Dead


Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Watson Joukowsky Forum

This roundtable examines the human terrain of displacement via the web of relationships between the living and the dead. It addresses such topics as scale, perception, and power. How does our observation of displacement across landscapes and populations shift when we take the world of ancestors left behind or continually cared for into account? How do we account for the displaced dead across time and space? What are the ways in which we can write perceive and write about the relationships between the living and the dead, often amid histories of violence or disruption, in which the latter are not reduced to a spectral metaphor on one extreme, or a functionalist explanation of human behavior on the other? Is it possible to accord the displaced dead agency of their own, or will they forever be subject to the display of power by the living? Finally, can our understanding of the patterns of the human landscape of the past inform our approach to the terrain of displaced death in our present, or have changes in scale and technology severed those links?

Speakers include:

wagner-at-hah-small_1.jpgSarah Wagner, Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University, and Senior Research Fellow in Social Science in Trinity College, Cambridge, and Distinguished Research Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

Sarah is a social anthropologist who works in the former Yugoslavia and the United States. Her research has explored connections between the destructive and creative forces of war, focusing on the identification of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically victims of the Srebrenica genocide, and the United States military’s attempts to recover and identify service members Missing In Action (MIA) from the past century’s conflicts.

1253645861_hkwonHeonik Kwon, Professorial Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and an APJ associate.

Heonik is the author of The Other Cold War (Columbia University Press, 2010).  He co-authored North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012) and is completing a book on intimate histories of the Korean War.


This event is co-sponsored by the Brown University Department of History.

Mellon Sawyer Seminar

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