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Open Access (free)
Burying the dead in times of pandemic
Diane O’Donoghue

Both historical and contemporary records of mass contagion provide occasions for visibility to persons who otherwise remain little recognised and even less studied: those who bury the dead. While global reports attest to self-advocacy among cemetery workers in the current COVID-19 pandemic, the psychological complexities of their labour go virtually unseen. Findings on the experiences of those doing such work reveal a striking contrast. While societal disavowal often renders their task as abject and forgettable, those who inter the remains frequently report affective connections to the dead that powerfully, and poignantly, undermine this erasure. Acknowledging such empathic relationality allows us to look at this profession in areas where it has never been considered, such as psychoanalytic work on ‘mentalisation’ or in contemporary ethics. The article concludes with an example from the accounts of those who have buried the dead in the massed graves on New York’s Hart Island.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Ken Gelder

This chapter looks at colonial grave sites and – to a degree – the question of memorialisation in Australia. The colonial grave sites of settlers and Aboriginal people have, of course, been memorialised in radically different ways. They might both be a consequence of the so-called frontier wars in the Australian colonies, but the way grave sites are recognised and

in Graveyard Gothic
James Coleman

The Covenanter Martyrs of the later seventeenth century were national heroes in nineteenth-century Scotland, yet their commemoration was fraught with risk. Whether through civic events, the marking of anniversaries, or the raising of historical statuary, any attempt to remember the Covenanters carried with it dangerous associations with idolatry. The sanctification of anyone – let alone their Protestant heroes – was anathema to Scottish Presbyterians. Or was it? Embodied in Scott’s Old Mortality, maintaining the grave sites of martyred Covenanters had long been a tradition within Scottish Presbyterianism. Combined with the publication of stories of the martyrs as instructive tales, the Covenanting flame was kept burning throughout the eighteenth century. Yet by the mid-nineteenth century, as this chapter argues, the Martyrs occupied a central role in Scottish memory. To remember the Covenanters was to keep alive the ideals they died for: the spiritual independence of the Church, the rejection of popish ritual and episcopacy, and – more broadly – the Scottish-national virtue of civil and religious liberty. This paper concentrates on commemorative practice as a means of understanding the role played by the Covenanters in nineteenth-century Scottish society. It draws on newspaper reports of commemorative events, as well as collected essays and published sermons, to throw light on a neglected corner of the burgeoning field of collective memory and commemoration studies.

in Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain
Sarah Salih

The voice of ‘Sir John Mandeville’, author and protagonist of Mandeville’s Travels, is an illusory textual effect: Mandeville, as we all know, was not Mandeville, and probably did not travel. Mandeville’s first-person experiences are plagiarised from those of genuine travellers; yet the text forges a distinctive voice that unites its disparate sources and the positions, in Michel de Certeau’s terms, of ‘voyeur’ and ‘walker’. This voice constitutes what David Lawton names ‘a public interiority’: generations of Mandeville’s readers occupied his position. Hence, for someone who did not exist, Mandeville generated significant material traces, including two grave sites, at Liège and St Albans. Mandeville’s English readers added additional biography to flesh out the character, emphasising, variously, his Englishness, his knightliness and his scholarship. Two manuscripts of the Travels visualise him both as author and as traveller: in BL, MS Harley 3954, he is a humble guide and pilgrim; and in the luxurious BL, MS Additional 24189, he is an elegant aristocrat.

in Medieval literary voices
The forensic and political lives of secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Admir Jugo
Sari Wastell

pollen samples collected from different locations.48 Finally, and most conclusively, the relationship of primary to secondary mass grave sites has been verified through results of DNA 154   Admir Jugo and Sari Wastell analysis conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).49 Since 2001, the ICMP have been in charge of the exhumation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2009, this has been under the auspices of the state-level Missing Persons Institute (MPI). ICMP has been implementing its DNA-led identification process in BiH since 2001, and

in Human remains and identification
José López Mazz

Uruguayan dictatorship (1973–84) one must take into account its different antecedents, which contributed to the political violence that took place in the River Plate region The military dictatorship in Uruguay   85 in the second half of the twentieth century and further developed its particular characteristics. Violent social practices in this region have an ancient cultural significance, and they brought their own rhythm to the area’s long-term historical processes. Acts of genocide, mass graves, clandestine grave sites, and the destruction of bodies form part of a

in Human remains and identification
Participatory and collective memories in Croatia and Argentina
Máire Braniff

memory work as well as exploring why memory work is perceived to contribute. In Buenos Aries, spurred by a system of impunity and increasingly against a backdrop of trial and prosecution of the dictatorship, memorialisation became a key methodology of bringing materiality into the public realm – in the absence of grave sites, for example (Clarkson, 2014 ). Likewise, in remembrance and memorialisation of those who were disappeared in Croatia, Vukovar represents a key public space of memorialisation. At the Ovčara Memorial Centre, the materiality of those who were

in Troubles of the past?
Open Access (free)
Francisco E. González
Desmond King

configure their relationship to the American nation. Stretching back to the nineteenth-century traditions of ethnology, physical anthropology and phrenology, scientists have collected thousands of skulls and other remains from American Indians, often from battle sites. Many were stored in the Smithsonian Institution, which opened in 1846. Some of these were acquired with appropriate permission, but many were taken fraudulently or by stealing from mass grave-sites. Native UNITED STATES 241 Americans have increasingly sought the return of these human remains for proper

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Abstract only
James St. André

altered. In mainstream English usage today, there is no connection to grave sites, burial practices, or ancestor worship. Translation studies teaches us that perfect translation is impossible. We are left with the establishment and maintenance of equivalence, not as a scientific fact, but as a social fact. I will leave readers with a question, then, rather than a final conclusion. Is

in Conceptualising China through translation
Élisabeth Anstett

une anthropologie de la trace (Paris: Pétra, 2009), p. 115. Emphasis added. 20 See the photographs taken by Ivan Panikarov to accompany his article ‘Le chemin s’arrête-t-il là?’, in Anstett & Jurgenson, Le Goulag en héritage, pp. 131–41.  7 The HRMV.indb 194 01/09/2014 17:28:44 Remains from the gulags  195 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 HRMV.indb 195 Memorial, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has begun drawing up an inventory of the mass graves sited on the territory of the former USSR. Its website,, contains a

in Human remains and mass violence