Sociology

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 485 items for

  • Refine by access: User-accessible content x
Clear All
Regimes of value associated with the corpse in French nineteenth-century painting
Anaelle Lahaeye

There are many factors at work in the iconography of human remains. Some of those frequently discussed are aesthetic criteria, iconographic traditions and specific contingencies, whether political (for example in war paintings), symbolic (essential for transi images) or cultural. There is, however, one factor that is rarely mentioned, despite its centrality: the regime of value associated with corpses. Christ’s body is not painted in the same way as that of a departed relative or that used in a human dissection. Artists choose a suitable iconography depending on how the remains are perceived. This criterion became absolutely crucial in contexts such as nineteenth-century France, when attitudes to corpses underwent major changes.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
An interview with Vernelda Grant
Bridget Conley
and
Vernelda Grant

This edited transcript of conversations between an Apache cultural heritage professional, Vernelda Grant, and researcher Bridget Conley explores the knowledge that should guide the repatriation of human remains in the colonial context of repatriating Apache sacred, cultural and patrimonial items – including human remains – from museum collections in the United States. Grant provides a historical overview of the how Apache elders first grappled with this problem, following the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) in the US Congress. She explains how and why community leaders made decisions about what items they would prioritise for repatriation. Central to her discussion is an Apache knowledge ecology grounded in recognition that the meaning of discrete items cannot be divorced from the larger religious and cultural context from which they come.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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
Holocaust ashes in and beyond memorial sites and museums
Zuzanna Dziuban

This article focuses on ongoing contestations around burned human remains originating from the Holocaust, their changing meanings and dynamics, and their presence/absence in Holocaust-related debates, museums and memorial sites. It argues that ashes challenge but also expand the notion of what constitutes human remains, rendering them irreducible to merely bones and fleshed bodies, and proposes that incinerated remains need to be seen not as a ‘second rate’ corporeality of the dead but as a different one, equally important to engage with – analytically, ethically and politically. Challenging the perception of ashes as unable to carry traces of the personhood of the of the dead, and as not capable of yielding evidence, I posit that, regardless of their fragile corporality, incinerated human remains should be considered abjectual and evidential, as testifying to the violence from which they originated and to which they were subjected. Moreover, in this article I consider incinerated human remains through the prism of the notion of vulnerability, meant to convey their susceptibility to violence – violence through misuse, destruction, objectification, instrumentalisation and/or museum display. I argue that the consequences of the constantly negotiated status of ashes as a ‘second rate’ corporeality of human remains include their very presence in museum exhibitions – where they, as human remains, do not necessarily belong.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Telling stories of violence, suffering and death in museum exhibits
Steven Lubar

This article describes some of the techniques museums use to represent the suffering body in exhibitions. Some display human remains, but much more common, especially in Western museums, are stand-ins for the body. Manikins take many forms, including the wax museum’s hyperrealistic representations, the history museum’s neutral grey figures and the expressionistic figures that represent enslaved people in many recent exhibits. Symbolic objects or artefacts from the lives of victims can serve as counterweights to telling the story of their deaths. Photographs can show horror and the machinery of death, focus attention on individual lives or recreate communities. The absence of the body can call attention to its suffering. All of these techniques can be useful for museums trying to display and teach traumatic histories, but must be used with care and caution.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
In their presence: re-framing the scene of the dead body
Diane O’Donoghue
and
Bridget Conley
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)

This edited collection, Affective intimacies, provides a novel platform for re-evaluating the notion of open-ended intimacies through the lens of affect theories. Thus, this collection is not about affect and intimacy, but affective intimacies. Instead of foregrounding certain predefined categories of affects or intimacies, the book focuses on processes, entanglements and encounters between humans as well as between human and non-human bodies that provide key signposts for grasping of affective intimacies. Throughout, Affective intimacies addresses the embodied, affective and psychic aspects of intimate entanglements across various timely phenomena. Rather than assuming that we could parse affective intimacies in a pre-defined way, the collection asks how the study of affect enables us to rethink intimacies, what affect theories can do to the prevailing notion of intimacy and how they renew and enrich theories of intimacy. Affective intimacies brings together a selection of original chapters which invite readers to follow and reconsider affective intimacies as they unfold in the happenings of everyday lives and in their mobile, affective and more-than-human intricate predicaments. In this manner, the edited collection makes a valuable contribution to the social sciences and humanities which have yet to recognise and utilise the potential to imagine affective intimacies in alternative ways, without starting from the already familiar terrains, theories and conceptualisations. By so doing, it advances the value of interdisciplinary perspectives and creative methodologies in thinking in terms of affective intimacies.

Closeness and distance in LGBTQ+ women’s relationships
Annukka Lahti

The chapter explores the significance of gender in LGBTQ+ women’s relationships. It begins with an observation of the closeness and easiness of certain LGBTQ+ women’s relationships, while others struggle with unequal approaches to sharing childcare and domestic responsibilities in ways that strikingly resemble the gendered conventions of heterosexual relationships. Arguing that the framework of gendered conventions is limited, I analyse gender as becoming in and through affective assemblages. The chapter thus shifts the focus from the human-centred paradigm that would approach gender as an identity that ‘belongs to a person’, to a more nuanced approach where multiple elements and affective intimacies of a gender assemblage can be identified. For the purposes of the chapter, I analyse two data sets: interviews with LGBTQ+ women who have experienced a recent relationship break-up, and a longitudinal set of interviews with bisexual women and their variously gendered (ex)partners. My analysis shows how the accumulating affective intimacies of a gender assemblage, which are a co-constitution of many elements – e.g. sexual desire, cultural norms and ideas about gender, (shared) interests, events and material spaces – have an ability to bring certain gendered bodies closer to one another while pushing others away from one another. The chapter also shows how equalities and inequalities emerge in temporally shifting ways in LGBTQ+ women’s gender assemblages and how this is entangled with closeness and distance in their relationships.

in Affective intimacies
Non-binary youth and affective (re)orientations to family
Nina Perger

In this chapter, I analyse the experiences of gender non-binary individuals using the web of affects and obligations experienced within the family. I seek to show how the ordinariness of family intimacy is transformed when it encounters transgender non-binary lives. Building on research on the everyday lives of gender and/or sexual non-binary people conducted from 2015 to 2019, I present case studies of four gender non-binary individuals and their stories of ‘journeying away from’ – and sometimes back to – family intimacy that failed to deliver on its promises. By analysing four case studies of non-binary individuals and their stories of negative family reactions to the disclosure of their gender identity, I seek to capture the messiness of family intimacy as it unfolds through the affective orientations of family members. This analysis builds on Ahmed’s work on emotions and affective orientation and Bourdieu’s work on the conceptual pairing of affective obligations – obliged affects. Transgender participants tell their stories of silencing, rejection and neglect, and of being affected by the promise of family as a happy object. Namely, they tell the stories of subtle and more forceful affective mechanisms of shame, guilt and responsibility for upholding the fiction of family as an unconditional, intimate and haven-like relationship, and show how one can be affected by the promise of family as a happy object.

in Affective intimacies
Lesboratories as affective spaces
Tuula Juvonen

In this chapter, I examine the development of the idea of a lesbian in Tampere, Finland by utilising accounts from oral history interviews regarding two different lesbian and gay party venues run by the local lesbian and gay organisation Vagabondi from 1977 to 1988. While concentrating on an embodied and collective circulation of affects I maintain that women who visited the parties were affected not only by the gender composition of the events, but, quite importantly, also by their material entanglements. By coining the term lesboratory for the apparatus of entangled material and social intra-actions, I draw attention to the productive and affective role of materiality in creating the idea of a lesbian. I maintain that the materiality of these two different party venues provided not only the preconditions for bodily encounters, but they also significantly co-constituted and informed the self-understanding of the participating guests. Hence, by demonstrating how the different venues were actively and intimately participating in the production of meaning and the forming of what was an emerging idea of a lesbian, the chapter participates in the ongoing discussions regarding affective and spatial turns in analysing the past and argues for the importance of combining the two.

in Affective intimacies