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Corpses in our rubbish bins

Des cadavres dans nos poubelles

Human Remains & Waste Spaces from Prehistory to the Present Day

Restes humains & espaces détritiques de la Préhistoire à nos jours

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Published on Friday, June 30, 2017 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

In both modern and archaeological contexts, many human remains are uncovered from structures that contain waste (such as broken pottery, food waste, and so on). These depositions are probably not merely evidence of a simple abandonment, or of depriving somebody of a grave. They are often associated with a deliberate intention to consider the body negatively –in whole or in part–, or to liken it to a piece of rubbish. For what reasons is this done? Where, when, and in what contexts do we find these depositions? Denying somebody a funeral seems in some cases a double outrage. Is this the case always and everywhere? How, by whom and why are some individuals deliberately thrown into rubbish dumps or landfill sites? Who are these individuals? Interpreting these configurations—whether they arise from archaeological or forensic discoveries –is always difficult, and has up until now impeded a wider understanding of this phenomenon.

Announcement

Presentation

In both modern and archaeological contexts, many human remains are uncovered from structures that contain waste (such as broken pottery, food waste, and so on). These depositions are probably not merely evidence of a simple abandonment, or of depriving somebody of a grave. They are often associated with a deliberate intention to consider the body negatively—in whole or in part—, or to liken it to a piece of rubbish. For what reasons is this done? Where, when, and in what contexts do we find these depositions? Denying somebody a funeral seems in some cases a double outrage. Is this the case always and everywhere? How, by whom and why are some individuals deliberately thrown into rubbish dumps or landfill sites? Who are these individuals? Interpreting these configurations—whether they arise from archaeological or forensic discoveries—is always difficult, and has up until now impeded a wider understanding of this phenomenon.

This is the reason why, for the first time from both a trans-disciplinary and diachronic perspective, we are proposing to address the issue of the presence of human remains in waste spaces. We believe that a large-scale approach, combining viewpoints from various disciplines, will enable us to better identify the reasons that lead to corpses being deliberately thrown away. In this regard, it will be just as necessary to ask ourselves about the status of human remains as about the representations of waste areas, as well as about their location in relation to inhabited spaces.

Submission guidelines

In order to allow time for discussion, the number of presentations over the course of 8th and 9th February 2018 will be limited, and a round table setup will be adopted, bringing together all of the participants. We would like each presentation—which should last no longer than thirty minutes—to be split into two parts. The first part should be descriptive and present factual information on the case featured, while the second part should be more analytical, summing up the interpretative questionings, analyses or hypotheses brought about by these configurations, according to the disciplinary field in which they have been approached.

This round table will be the subject of a dual publication: in the form of a special edition of the Human Remains and Violence journal, and in the form of a collective volume in French. Presentation proposals (maximum 500 words) should be sent to cadavrespoubelles2018@gmail.com

before 15th October 2017

along with a short biography that includes your name, discipline of study, university, possible new publications, along with full contact details of the author(s) of the paper. 

Scientific committee

  • Pascal ADALIAN, professeur, Aix-Marseille Université
  • Elisabeth ANSTETT, directrice de recherche CNRS
  • Jean-Marc DREYFUS, reader, University of Manchester (UK)
  • Caroline FOURNET, professeur, University of Gröningen (Pays-Bas)
  • Gaëlle CLAVANDIER, maître de conférences, Université de Saint-Etienne
  • Sévane GARIBIAN, professeur, Université de Genève (Suisse)
  • Paco FERRANDIZ, senior researcher, CSIC (Espagne)
  • Michel SIGNOLI, directeur de recherche CNRS
  • Aurore SCHMITT, chargée de recherche CNRS

Places

  • Faculté de Médecine La Timone - 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin
    Marseille, France (13005)

Date(s)

  • Sunday, October 15, 2017

Keywords

  • restes humains, violence, funéraire, mort

Contact(s)

  • Elisabeth ANSTETT
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] anstett [at] univ-amu [dot] fr

Information source

  • Elisabeth ANSTETT
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] anstett [at] univ-amu [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Corpses in our rubbish bins », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, June 30, 2017, https://calenda.org/409606

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