Makaremi, Dr. Chowra, EHESS, Paris, France - To aid conference on 'Truth Telling & Truth Seeking in Contexts of Impunity. New Fields & Perspectives in Legal Anthropology & the Ethnography of Violence,' 2014, London, with Dr. Pardis Shafafi
Preliminary abstract: In studies of large-scale violence, an area remains underexplored: investigations in contexts of impunity, where the unchanged political and social order engendered by conflict or state repression, and the high-ranking position of past perpetrators, offer no transition at sight. While on-site research on such past episodes is perilous such as in Indonesia or in Colombia, or impossible, as in Iran, this does not exclude empirical studies based on oral history and processes of truth telling. The study of violence in contexts of impunity thus invites us to pay closer attention to existing projects of truth telling and truth seeking carried by civil societies. These projects are initiated outside of state-endorsed institutional processes, be they national or international, and challenge hegemonic narratives. They mainly comprise two sets of interrelated practices: documentation projects and databases on human rights violations, and international civil society tribunals. Truth telling in contexts of impunity provides access to data, informants, and empirical material. It is also an enlightening object of study for understanding how silenced but shared experiences of violence are transformed into public knowledge and acknowledgement, outside the frames of sovereignty, legitimacy and legality that organize political life at a national and international level. Anthropologists have both worked along various processes of truth telling, and produced an analysis of such initiatives. At the crossroads of legal anthropology and the ethnography of violence, the workshop aims to (1) examine these case studies in a comparative perspective, and (2) initiate a dialogue with social scientists involved in documentation databases and projects, and legal scholars who have been participating in, or studying the phenomena of civil society tribunals. It will, for the very first time, bring together scholars from all five continents who are involved with these issues. Our goal is to focus on new material and challenging practices, while gathering junior researchers working in these fields together with senior academics and experts in international tribunals.
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at Universite d'Etat d' Haiti, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Institutional Development Grant
Preliminary abstract: Through primary partnerships with the University of Kansas (KU) and Teachers College, Columbia University (TC), the State University of Haiti (UEH) will implement an ethos of productivity to establish a fully functioning doctoral program that will facilitate student and faculty training as well as research. This will be accomplished by a) increasing the number of Ph.D. holding professors among the anthropology faculty at UEH, b) providing continuing education for existing faculty members through short-courses in all four sub-disciplines and time abroad at partner institutions, c) consulting on organization of the graduate curriculum, d) preparing students and faculty for engagement in global academic dialogues through workshops and seminars given by international partners, e) facilitating and publicizing research that is relevant to government and non-governmental entities and the general Haitian population, and f) contributing to the development of Kreyòl as a scholarly language of communication in Haiti. With IDG funding, we envision building a doctoral program in anthropology in which UEH professors and partners provide Haitian students with internationally recognized doctoral training which can be beneficial for finding employment with academic, governmental, or non-governmental entities, and facilitate networks of research and support through foreign faculty. Bolstering the institution's existing strength in cultural anthropology with expertise in the other sub-disciplines, the initiative seeks to build capacity of students and faculty that leads to the production of anthropological research in Haiti by Haitian scholars and students.