Human remains and mass violence

Methodological approaches

Edited by Jean-Marc Dreyfus and Élisabeth Anstett

Human remains and mass violence


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1674-1
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: April 2017
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, Humanities / Genocide & ethnic cleansing, Politics, Anthropology, History, Archaeology, Sociology
  • Series: Human Remains and Violence


This book outlines for the first time in a single volume the theoretical and methodological tools for a study of human remains resulting from episodes of mass violence and genocide. Despite the highly innovative and contemporary research into both mass violence and the body, the most significant consequence of conflict - the corpse - remains absent from the scope of existing research.

Why have human remains hitherto remained absent from our investigation, and how do historians, anthropologists and legal scholars, including specialists in criminology and political science, confront these difficult issues? By drawing on international case studies including genocides in Rwanda, the Khmer Rouge, Argentina, Russia and the context of post-World War II Europe, this ground-breaking edited collection opens new avenues of research.

Multidisciplinary in scope, this volume will appeal to readers interested in an understanding of mass violence's aftermath, including researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, law, politics and modern warfare.

The research program leading to this publication has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n° 283-617.


Introduction: Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable - Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus
1. The biopolitics of corpses of mass violence and genocide - Yehonatan Alsheh
2. Seeking the dead among the living: Embodying the disappeared of the Argentinean dictatorship through law - Sévane Garibian
3. The human body: victim, witness, and proof of mass violence - Caroline Fournet
4. Moral discourse and action in relation to the corpse: integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence - Jon Shute
5. The disposal of corpses in an ethnicized civil war: Croatia, 1941-45 - Alexander Korb
6. Renationalizing bodies? The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946-58 - Jean-Marc Dreyfus
7. From bones-as-evidence to tutelary spirits: The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide - Anne Yvonne Guillou
8. Display, concealment and 'culture': the disposal of bodies in the 1994 Rwandan genocide - Nigel Eltringham
9. An anthropological approach to human remains from the Gulag - Élisabeth Anstett


Élisabeth Anstett is a Researcher in Social Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, and a Director of the Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide programme funded by the European Research Council

Jean-Marc Dreyfus is Reader in Holocaust Studies at the University of Manchester and a Director of the Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide programme funded by the European Research Council

Human remains and mass violence

Edited by Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Élisabeth Anstett

Paperback £25.00 / $36.95

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout