Corpses and Places: Remaking World and Afterworld in a Camp for Displaced Persons

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time: 3:30-5:00 pm

Location: Degroote School of Business, Room 505

Abstract: For refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), displacement is more than a technical problem of logistics and delivery, and more than just a problem of maintaining biological existence.  It is an existential dilemma posed by the destruction not only of their homes, but of the world they once knew, including many of their social relationships, their attachments to places and the structures and practices they used to create meaning. In this talk, I look at how IDPs in the Republic of Georgia create topolgangers—two very different and distinct places on the identical terrain—to recreate the villages they lost on the grounds of the camp.   In doing so, they begin to reconstitute the world as a comprehensible space where action has meaning.

Biography: Elizabeth Dunn is a trained anthropologist and currently an associate professor cross-appointed in geography and international studies at Indiana University.  In addition to numerous academic articles and books on post-socialist privatization and questions of public health after communism, she has written on aid, humanitarianism, and refugee policy for Science, Boston Reviewand Slate, and this research has also been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Die Zeit, and SINC, a Spanish news agency.  More information can be found at http://www.elizabethcullendunn.com/

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