In Their Presence — Panelists’ Bios

Élisabeth Anstett is a social anthropologist, senior tenured researcher at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and member of Adès (Anthropologie bio-culturelle, Droit, Ethique et Santé), an interdisciplinary research unit at the Faculty of Medical and Paramedical Sciences of Aix-Marseille University. Her research focuses on dead bodies and human remains management and care in mass violence or crisis contexts. She is co-editor the “Human Remains and Violence” book series (that includes Human Remains in Society: Curation and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Genocide and Mass Violence (2016)); Human Remains and Identification: Mass Violence, Genocide, and the ‘Forensic Turn’ (2017); Destruction and Human Remains: Disposal and Concealment in Genocide and Mass Violence (2017);  she is also an editor of Human Remains and Mass Violence: Methodological Approaches, an an interdisciplinary academic journal at Manchester University Press.

Bridget Conley, Co-Host of the Series, is the Research Director of the World Peace Foundation (WPF) and Associate Research Professor at The Fletcher School. At WPF, she is the lead researcher on the Mass Atrocities program. Her current research focuses on memory following mass atrocities, and has produced a book, Memory from the Margins: Ethiopia’s Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum (Palgrave 2019). She is the editor of How Mass Atrocities End: Studies from Guatemala, Burundi, Indonesia, the Sudans, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq (Cambridge University Press 2016). She has published on issues related to the 1992 – 1995 war in Bosnia, mass atrocities and genocide, and how museums can engage on human rights issues. She previously worked as Research Director for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.

Zuzanna Dziuban is a senior postdoc at the Institute for Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, in the ERC Consolidator project “Globalized Memorial Museums. Exhibiting Atrocities in the Era of Claims for Moral Universals.” She received her PhD in Cultural Studies in 2009 from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is the editor of Mapping the ‘Forensic Turn’ (Vienna: New Academic Press, 2017) and The ‘Spectral Turn:’ Jewish Ghosts in the Polish Post-Holocaust Imaginaire (Bielefeld: Transcript and Columbia University Press, 2019). Her research looks at culture, memory politics, museum and critical heritage studies in Europe, with a particular focus on dead body studies and the Post-Holocaust politics of dead bodies.

Vernelda J. Grant is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona. She works primarily on protection and preserving cultural resources in the Apache reservations by building coalitions between tribal communities and neighboring communities outside of the reservations. Her main focus has been grassroots organizing and mobilizing individuals in her community who are passionate about preserving holy grounds and sites that are important not just to the Apache people but also to the history of the United States. In 2004, she was appointed to the Native American Advisory Group for the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation in Washington, DC.

Steven Lubar has been a Professor of American Studies, History, History of Art and Architecture at Brown University since 2004. He was the Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage from 2004 to 2014 and Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology between 2010 and 2012. Professor Lubar was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016 and is the author or co-author of four books, most recently Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present (Harvard University Press, 2017) and many articles on museums and on the history of technology.

Ereshnee Naidu-Silverman is the Senior Director for the Global Transitional Justice Initiative, the flagship program of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience on transitional justice. She has, for over twenty years, designed and implemented community outreach strategies and programs in many critical post-conflict settings that include South Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Colombia. A seasoned educator with extensive curriculum and workshop design experience, she has broad content development, training, and facilitation skills. Among her publications are “Ties That Bind: Strengthening the Links Between Memorialization and Transitional Justice” (Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation Research Brief. August 2006) and “Memorialisation in Post-conflict Societies in Africa: Potentials and Challenges” (in Memorials in Time of Transition, edited by Susanne Buckley-Zistel and Stefanie Schafer. Cambridge: Intersentia, 2014).

Ingrid Neumann is the Museum Conservator at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she is responsible for the care of the three-dimensional collections held at the RISD Museum of Art as well as for conducting conservation treatments. She has been an Adjunct Instructor at the Tufts University Graduate School of Museum Studies since 2003, teaching a course in “Collections Care and Preventive Conservation.” Topics covered there include conservation ethics, art handling in museums, conservation documentation and condition reporting, conservation science, museum exhibition materials, museum storage materials, collections care websites, care of contemporary art and new media art works, as well as emergency preparedness, response and salvage techniques.

Diane O’Donoghue, series Co-Host, is the Director of the Program for Public Humanities and Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. She is also Visiting Professor of Public Humanities at Brown University and the Chair of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. A historian of visual cultures, her publications often are indebted to her public-facing projects. She is the co-founder of a descendants’ advocacy group for a large Jewish cemetery in Vienna, work that informed her recent book, On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious (Bloomsbury, 2019), an examination of the presence of materiality within constructions of psychoanalysis.

Ciraj Rassool is Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape and directs its African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies. He is an Associated Member of the Global South Studies Center at the University of Cologne and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Luschan Collection (Berlin). Professor Rassool has published widely in the fields of political biography, museum and heritage studies, memory politics and visual history. He previously chaired the Scientific Committee of the International Council of African Museums, and he serves on the High Level Museums Advisory Committee of UNESCO. His  publications include Skeletons in the Cupboard: South African Museums and the Trade in Human Remains, 1907-1917 (2000; republished 2015), Recalling Community in Cape Town: Creating and Curating the District Six Museum (2001), Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (2006) and The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, Histories, and Infrastructures (2015). 

Isaias Rojas-Perez is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers-Newark. His research interests include social and cultural theory, focusing on sovereignty, governmentality, violence, rights, time and memory, the politics of materiality, and the ritualization of death in Andean Peru. These interests draw on his previous long-term work as professional human rights activist in Peru during the armed conflict between the Peruvian military and the Maoist Shining Path, as well as several years of fieldwork in former war-torn areas of rural Andean Peru. His recent book External Mourning Remains: State Atrocity, Exhumations, and Governing the Disappeared in Peru’s Postwar Andes (Stanford, 2018) examines the attempts to find, recover, and identify the bodies of the disappeared during the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency campaign in Peru’s central southern Andes.

Adam Rosenblatt is an Associate Professor of Practice in International Comparative Studies at Duke University. Before earning his PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University, he worked at Physicians for Human Rights, the Human Rights Center of the University of Chile, and at the U.S.-Mexico border. His first book, Digging for the Disappeared: Forensic Science after Atrocity (Stanford, 2015)focuses on the scientific investigation of mass graves as a window into both the past and the future of human rights. His current book project is about efforts to preserve burial grounds and commemorate the marginalized dead, in the process forming new communities of care and resistance and creating new forms of public space. He is a board member of the Friends of Geer Cemetery, which is restoring a historic African American burial ground in Durham, North Carolina and telling the stories of the people buried there.

Julia Viebach is a Departmental Lecturer in African Studies at the African Studies Centre of Oxford University. Her research focuses on transitional justice, memorialization, trauma and witnessing after mass atrocity, with a focus on post-genocide Rwanda. She is also interested in critical theory, research ethics and methodologies. Her recent project ‘Atrocity’s Archives: The Remnants of Transitional Justice in Rwanda’ adopts a comparative methodology to critically explore how Rwanda’s Gacaca courts and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) produce and affirm particular discourses of peace, politics and trauma.

Sarah Wagner is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University, who works in the former Yugoslavia and the United States. Her research has explored connections between the destructive and creative forces of war, focusing on the identification of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically victims of the Srebrenica genocide (To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008). Her recent research concerns the United States military’s attempts to recover and identify service members Missing In Action (MIA) from the past century’s conflicts. Her book What Remains: Bringing America’s Missing Home from the Vietnam War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019), traces shifting modes of commemoration and notions of national and local belonging through the recovery, identification, and return of remains for the U.S. Missing In Action from the Vietnam War.

Stephenie Young is Professor in the English Department and research associate for the Salem State University (SSU) Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She joined the faculty of Salem State in fall of 2008. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the State University of New York. Her current book project, “The Forensics of Memorialization,” is about the “forensic imagination,” and how traumatic material culture is used to create visual narratives that shape memory politics in post-conflict former Yugoslavia. She is also engaged in several other projects including a photo/text study about forensics, material culture and politics at the U.S./Mexico border, as part of the Network for Aesthetic Ecologies, and another multimedia project about the Caucasus borders.

Leave a Reply