SPAH Seminar Series: Beyond the courtroom. Performing human rights and aesthetic practices

A seminar to discuss adopting “performance” as a concept that is defined by repetitive, aesthetic practices

  • Thu 19 Nov 20

    15:00 - 17:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Liliana Gomez, University of Zurich

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    SPAH Seminar Series

  • Contact details

    Hannah Whiting

The Philosophy and Art History Research Seminar meets weekly in term on Thursday afternoons to discuss a paper by a visiting philosopher, art historian, or a member of our academic staff.

Professor Liliana Gomez from the University of Zurich will be running an online seminar on 'Performing human rights and aesthetic practices'.

Adopting “performance” as a concept that is defined by repetitive, aesthetic practices, such as speech and bodily habits through which both individual and collective identities are constructed and perceived, the paper discusses the various forms of performing human rights in transitional situations, particularly of the Global South. It looks more in detail at the «courtrooms» of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the work Dust Breeding (2013) by Sarah Vanagt and of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) through the fictional story Taqrīr Mehlis (The Mehlis Report) (2005) by Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber. Overall, the paper seeks to understand the mnemonic/archival potential and counter-semantics of aesthetic practices of literature and arts that critically address historiographies, accountability, responsibility, and truth, looking at, on one hand, the courtroom as a forum and material site for truth constructions and historical narratives about violent pasts. On the other, it examines the collective dimension of truth telling and narrative truths, to revisit the idea of transitional justice.

To join this seminar, please contact Hannah Whiting at hannah.whiting@essex.ac.uk for the Zoom link.