Middle East Studies

Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Displacement | The Displaced Living and the Displaced Dead

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

4:00pm – 6:00pm

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute

Registration on Eventbrite is open and is required. Please click here to register.

Featuring Sarah 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; and Heonik Kwon, Professorial Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and an APJ associate, University of Pittsburgh.

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?

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