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Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies

This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.

What Lessons Can Be Drawn from Case Studies in France, the United States and Madagascar?
Hugo Carnell

denialism by gaining the trust and cooperation of the affected population. Over the course of its long history, plague has been consistently defined by high mortality, rapid spread and association with poverty. Dangerously, affected populations may prioritise avoiding the stigma of plague over responding to it. If plague conflicts with core cultural values, as with Chinese burial rituals in San Francisco or famadihana in Madagascar, a population with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Duncan Sayer

This chapter describes the physical organisation of early Anglo-Saxon cemetery space by detailing the repertoire of shared semiotics used to organise a cemetery, specifically: cemetery topography, clusters of graves or burial plots, grave density, grave orientation, burial rituals and material culture. It also considers cemeteries which combine multiple organisational strategies. Introduction: structuring mortuary semiotics Cemeteries are not simply places where people bury the dead; they are the product of social agents working within the confines of

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Open Access (free)
Finn Stepputat

theory (‘between bio- and necropolitics’), the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals (‘rites of separation and the sacralisation of authority’) and recent ideas of agency and materiality (‘dead agency’). Despite their differences, the various approaches point towards an excess of meaning and affect relating to dead bodies and human remains, something that evokes the mystical, the sacred, the liminal and the transgressive, which, in the end, escapes explanation. The following nine chapters are organised in two parts. The first, ‘Containment and

in Governing the dead
‘Cellites’ and the ars moriendi in the
Abigail J. Hartman

. 27 Paxton, Christianizing Death , 208, and see also the overview provided by Madeleine Gray, ‘Deathbed and Burial Rituals in Late Medieval Catholic Europe’, in A Companion to Death, Burial, and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, c. 1300–1700 , ed. Philip Booth and Elizabeth Tingle (Leiden

in Do good unto all
Sarah Hackett

her ‘second home’, 213 whilst Atiff’s father had grown up in the West Midlands city before relocating to Wiltshire, and thus he had visited regularly due to family affiliations and commitments. There was also a clear sense that growing up in Wiltshire had led to possessing a more basic understanding of Islam, which in turn impacted the type of Muslim one was. The availability of halal food, Muslim burial rituals and the importance of locality Whilst accessing mosques and opportunities for religious education were the two main areas of concern with regard to

in Britain’s rural Muslims
Making Irish elites in the early modern English Caribbean
Jenny Shaw

, as churchyards in Barbados at this time were all Church of England. In Ireland women were in charge of burial rituals, so asking to be laid to rest in such a manner may have been Bryan’s way of reconciling his Catholic faith with his status as planter. 52 Other planters like Teague Curreen and Patrick Collins made similar requests. 53 The Blakes said even less about their religious practices. John and

in Ireland, slavery and the Caribbean
Abstract only
Two versions of tyrannicide in Richard III
Ann Kaegi

reformers were pressing to have them expunged from Elizabethan burial ritual. 3 While Anne’s misgivings about the lawfulness and efficacy of her obsequies are anachronistic within the play’s historical frame, they address and are symptomatic of the post-Reformation context in which Richard III was first performed ( c .1593–94). The colloquial directness

in The Renaissance of emotion
Abstract only
Death, grief and mourning before the Second World War
Lucy Noakes

the cemeteries, while unidentified bodies were interred in IWGC war cemeteries, their headstones marked with Kipling’s epitaph, ‘A soldier of the Great War known unto God’. The absence of a body to be cared for and interred, and the accompanying lack of funerary rites and burial rituals, for so long central to the management of grief, could be disruptive of the very process of grieving, as hope that the missing would be found alive could persist long after official notification that they were missing. Rudyard and Carrie Kipling continued to search for their son John

in Dying for the nation
Alexander Korb

specific reason is worth mentioning. With regard to the Communist partisans who threw their opponents into the caves, the historian Rolf Wörsdörfer conjectures that it was also ‘the fear of the grief of the enemy, of the extended Serbian Orthodox burial ritual and the suggestive power of the mourning women which persuaded the partisan groups to dispose of the bodies of opponents they had shot’.27 This may also have played a role for the Ustaša. Furthermore, apart from the practical advantages for the perpetrators, the disappearance of the bodies also represented a threat

in Human remains and mass violence