Registration: II International Conference on perpetrators of mass violence

Crime scenes and sites of memory

Schedule: From 4 november 2019 to 11 november 2019. Monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday and sunday at 00:00 to 23:59.


Place: La Beneficència Cultural Center (Carrer de la Corona, 36)



12-15th November: Second International Conference on perpetrators of mass violence.

Mass crimes, acts of genocide and political violence posses a certain “metaphysical” dimension against the humane, as stressed by authors as diverse as Elie Wiesel and Vladimir Jankélévitch. Nevertheless, whatever their conceptual reach may be, they constitute concrete acts which occur in precise locations, happen within a unique time period and whose material actors are, ultimately, ordinary people. Reconstructing the scenes resulting from said acts means returning to them the immediacy and the very banality that characterised them at the moment of their execution. However, once the events are reconstructed, those same stages take on new symbolic and cultural conditions and are resemanticised in diverse social areas: in the criminal trials that reconstruct the events, in the victims, persecutors and witnesses’ memory, in the visual and written archives that describe the events and, last but not least, in artistic, literary and cinematographic recreations.

Furthermore, these scenes are often transformed through interventions by society itself (the State, the nation, groups involved, exiles) in very different ways: through an official sanctioning or by virtue of an almost clandestine act by those directly affected; through spontaneous acts of commemoration or fleeting gestures intended as a way for the collective to pay tribute to the victims. The sacralisation of memory sites is none other than a gesture made possible in a globalised world in which violence is made more visible than ever and the appeal for reparation (at least memorial reparation) is more pronounced than at any other moment in history. Under the twentieth and twenty-first century societies’ drive for commemoration, the sites where mass violence has been executed have multiplied to unexpected levels and, on occasions, have entered into competition with each other, ranging from the planned sophistication (be it intentionally convoluted or minimalist) of certain urban scenes to the brand of the “spontaneous commemoration” of the immediate mourning period in the aftermath of an attack.

This conference seeks to examine the tension produced by this double dimension (present act, commemorative future) in this era of the crime scene. Additionally, we suggest a comparative case analysis, with the objective of reaching a more thorough understanding of the “styles” of each time period, as well as the exemplifying power of the most recognised and earliest examples (in particular, the Holocaust). Following the line of research initiated in the conference "Perpetrators’ Hell" (November 2017) as part of the research group «Contemporary Representations of Perpetrators of Mass Violence: Concepts, Narrative and Images» (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities), the approach to these questions has as its perspective the study of those who committee criminal acts, taking into consideration, of course, all actors involved in the scene.

There will be a closed conference program in which specialized researchers from both national and international level will participate, such as António Sousa Ribeiro, Dagmar von Hoff, Santiago de Pablo, Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Lior Zylberman, Valentina Salvi, Claudia Feld, Carolina Meloni, Anja Tippner, Dacia Viejo-Rose, Philippe Mesnard, José María Faraldo Jarillo, Luba Jurgenson, Stéphane Michonneau, Leigh Payne, Francisco Ferrándiz, Vicente Sáchez Biosca, María Rosón, Jaume Peris, Isadora Guardia, Luis Veres or Ana R. Calero Valera. There will therefore not be a call for participation as a speaker, but there will be an inscription that those interested can formalize.

Organized by:

The research group REPERCRI


- Vice-Chancellor Office for Territorial Projection and Society (UV).

- Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

- Regional Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (GVA).

- Department of English and German Philology (UV).

- The "Alfons el Magnànim" Institute

- Univ. Institute for Creativity and Educational Innovations (UV).

- German Academic Exchange Service..



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