In Their Presence: Debates on the Dignity, Display and Ownership of Human Remains

abstract illustration representing atrocities

A collaboration between Bridget Conley (WPF) and Diane O’Donoghue (Program director, Public Humanities, Tisch College of Civic Life), this program examined issues related to human remains from political violence. While advocacy, teaching, and research on issues relating to the public treatment of human remains have developed significantly in the past two decades, these areas of engagement usually do not differentiate concerns specific to the aftermath of state-sponsored violence and oppression. Opportunities to bring together a broad constituency of disciplines and methodologies around this focused area of concern are rare. 

This project convened discussions (2020 -2021) of leading international voices in areas of forensic ethics to address the materiality of post-life.  Through WPF’s partner, Tisch College, you can access video of panels on colonial legacies, recovery and reclamation, the ‘life’ of museum objects, mourning remains,  and the political economy, ethics and practices of displaying human remains. Presenters included: Ciraj Rassool, Vernelda Grant, Sarah Wagner, Adam Rosenblatt, Ingrid Neuman, Steven Lubar, Zuzanna Dziuban, Isaias Rojas-Perez, Julia Viebach, Stephenie Young, Elisabeth Anstett, and Ereshnee Naidu-Silverman. 

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