Hearts and Bones: Forensics, Truth, and Critical Memory in the Wake of State Sponsored Violence

Project: Research project

Project Details


This training will provide me with necessary tools to take my research beyond my current geographical and methodological reach with its single-nation focus on memory studies in German culture and history. First, I hope to advance a growing body of scholarship taking up the ethical and intellectual call to globalize and decolonize dominant Eurocentric and North American academic perspectives. To do so, I will consider the role of memory in post-authoritarian cultures in the Global South, specifically in South Africa and former authoritarian states in Latin America. By gaining interdisciplinary skills through training in forensics and anthropology, I can expand my repertoire of critical approaches to foster dialogue between the various scholarly and geographical fields in which memory is analyzed and produced. I will pursue graduate training in forensic anthropology—scientific techniques used in crime investigation for the analysis of human remains—in an intensive forensics summer program at Mercyhurst University, in addition to coursework in basic research Spanish. For the rest of the subsequent academic year, I will complete forensics courses in New York University’s Physical Anthropology Program, concurrent with coursework in sociocultural anthropology at Columbia University. Understanding methodologies on which expert witness is based, for example, will help me to analyze the relationship between scientific “expertise” and dominant historical and cultural narratives about state violence. Attaining the requisite skills to articulate the relationships between forensic, aesthetic, and historical registers will be of significant consequence for my future interdisciplinary contributions, both in and beyond the classroom, to comparative memory studies in an era of radically varied and ongoing postcolonial aftereffects.
Effective start/end date4/1/195/31/23


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1805-05849)


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