"After genocide: Gendered trauma, transmission and reinvention"

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 09:30 to Mon, 05/23/2016 - 19:30



Conference in Yerevan, May 21-22-23 2016
organised by Women in War (Paris)
in partnership with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan

This international conference will bring together multidisciplinary scholars, activists and professionals working on different aspects of historical and contemporary genocide.
We will be basing ourselves on the following definition Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
• (a) Killing members of the group;
• (b) Causing serious bodily, mental or individual integrity harm to members of the group;
• (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
• (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
• (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Taking previous conferences further, this event shall focus on the gendered nature of personal, political and social consequences of genocide and explore the commonalities experienced by generations growing up the shadow of genocide. The key notions to be explored here are trauma, memory and commemoration, reinvention of tradition, post conflict nationalism and the instrumentalization of genocide, all seen through a gendered lens. An essential contemporary dimension will be added as we shall reflect on how genocide is treated in international law. Feminists thinkers and activists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers shall bring together their experiences and research: the intersection of their work will bring a unique dimension to this conference.

Recognized genocide and massacres with a genocidal purpose from a gendered perspective will form the starting point of this conference. We will consider proposals that cover different geographic and historic areas including but not limited to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Liberia, Congo Free State, the Hereros in Namibia, the massacres that occurred as a result of the colonization of the American and Australian continent.

Although the conference concerns recent and historic genocide, propositions concerning ongoing massacres will be considered.

Proposals should cover the following themes, however other suggestions are possible:

How is genocide shaped by regimes of gender and sexuality?
– Feminist reflections on genocide
– Queer reflections on genocide
– Sexual and gender violence in genocide
– Reconstruction of personal integrity after sexual violence during war genocide
– Children born of wartime rape

Rewriting the history of genocide and the transmission of gendered cultural practices
– Language, verbal memory, lullabies, nursery rhymes
– Domestic practices: the home, cooking, celebrations, the body
– Women’s writings
– Counting and recognizing the victims of genocide
– Does genocide ever end?

– The gender dimension of forgotten and neglected massacres: indigenous tribes during colonization, the Congo Free State, Australia, the Spanish Inquisition and others.

The aftermath of genocide
– Transgenerational trauma amongst the descendants of the victims,
Transgenerational guilt amongst descendants of perpetrators)
– Establishing the culture of memory and the place of reconciliation
– The role of awareness and education in the avoidance of future genocides, the place of women in historical narratives.
– Memory of trauma and resilience in rebuilding a gendered identity

Genocide in political thinking and the judiciary
– The recognition of genocide, its gendered intersectionalities and the political price of censorship and denial
– Genocide in international law: the place of women’s claims and access to justice
– The experience of genocide as a political and national claim: the place of gender in instrumentalized tradition.
– Gender dimensions of international humanitarian interventions in the post-genocide period
– Gender sensitive reparations

Untold stories
Growing up in the shadow of genocide: the multiple forms of the unsaid
– Family Secrets Revealed: When a hidden identity is disclosed
– When the last witnesses die: building family memories

This conference is organised by Women in War, an NGO based in Paris, working specifically on Gender and Armed conflict run by Dr. Carol Mann, historian and sociologist specialized in these subjects, with one branch in Sarajevo, headed by Nermina Trbonja and another in Beirut, with Yeghia Tashjian. Dr Nona Shahnazarian is the representative in Yerevan, asssisted by Dr. Hasmik Grigorian.

From 2014 to 2018 , Women in War  organises yearly large international conferences to commemorate the part played by women in World War One. Each event takes place in an emblematic location, in partnership with an important local university: Sarajevo (with the University of Sarajevo), Beirut (with the Lebanese-American-University) and for 2016, Yerevan. The conference will be filmed and fully documented online and in print.

PROPOSALS (in English or French)  with a short bio SHOULD BE SENT BY DECEMBER 30th to
Please put your name in the “subject’ of mail
Queries should be sent to the same address.

All candidates will be notified by February 1st

Papers should be sent in by March Ist 2016 and a selection will be subsequently published after the conference․


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