“Corpses, Contention, Colonialism”
American Historical Association, January 2–5, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
The transnational flows of goods, ideas, and living bodies have attracted much attention from historians. These movements have often been accompanied by the movements of dead bodies for the purposes of burial, mourning, celebration, or display. Repatriations, exhumations, reburials, and taxidermies have often been used to assert and construct identities, heritages, boundaries, and hierarchies within the contexts of colonialism and decolonization. This panel will explore the meanings of these posthumous migrations of colonialism’s generals, victims, missionaries, and settlers, and of the fallen heroes of anti-imperialist movements, as well as more liminal bodies. The panel will examine the meanings of such corpse-flows and the ensuing debates, and situate them within our own debates about transnationalism and colonialism. (The AHA’s theme is “Disagreement, Debate, Discussion.”)
The AHA encourages panels that are diverse in terms of institution type and stage of career. Julia Clancy-Smith, author of Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in an Age of Migrations, has agreed to serve as commentator. My own paper proposal would be tentatively entitled “The Decolonization and Disentanglement of the Dead: the 1960 Earthquake in Morocco.”
Please email abstracts and brief CVs (off-list) to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible: the conference deadline is early February, 2013.