ETXEBERRIA, Francisco (coord.) (2020). The exhumations of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship 2000-2019. Current status and recommendations for the future



The exhumations of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship 2000-2019. Current status and recommendations for the future

Francisco Etxeberria (coord.)


Argentina Betrayed. Memory, Mourning, and Accountability

The ruthless military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983 betrayed the country’s people, presiding over massive disappearances of its citizenry and, in the process, destroying the state’s trustworthiness as the guardian of safety and well-being. Desperate relatives risked their lives to find the disappeared, and one group of mothers defied the repressive regime with weekly protests at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. How do societies cope with human losses and sociocultural traumas in the aftermath of such instances of political violence and state terror?

In Argentina Betrayed, Antonius C. G. M. Robben demonstrates that the dynamics of trust and betrayal that convulsed Argentina during the dictatorship did not end when democracy returned but rather persisted in confrontations over issues such as the truth about the disappearances, the commemoration of the past, and the guilt and accountability of perpetrators. Successive governments failed to resolve these debates because of erratic policies made under pressure from both military and human rights groups. Mutual mistrust between the state, retired officers, former insurgents, and bereaved relatives has been fueled by recurrent revelations and controversies that prevent Argentine society from conclusively coming to terms with its traumatic past.

With thirty years of scholarly engagement with Argentina—and drawing on his extensive, fair-minded interviews with principals at all points along the political spectrum—Robben explores how these ongoing dynamics have influenced the complicated mourning over violent deaths and disappearances. His analysis deploys key concepts from the contemporary literature of human rights, transitional justice, peace and reconciliation, and memory studies, including notions of trauma, denial, accountability, and mourning. The resulting volume is an indispensable contribution to a better understanding of the terrible crimes committed by the Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s and their aftermath.

Author: Antonius C. G. M. Robben

For more information


What Remains. Bringing America’s Missing Home from the Vietnam War

For many families the Vietnam War remains unsettled. Nearly 1,600 Americans—and more than 300,000 Vietnamese—involved in the conflict are still unaccounted for. In What Remains, Sarah E. Wagner tells the stories of America’s missing service members and the families and communities that continue to search for them. From the scientists who work to identify the dead using bits of bone unearthed in Vietnamese jungles to the relatives who press government officials to find the remains of their loved ones, Wagner introduces us to the men and women who seek to bring the missing back home. Through their experiences she examines the ongoing toll of America’s most fraught war.

Every generation has known the uncertainties of war. Collective memorials, such as the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, testify to the many service members who never return, their fates still unresolved. But advances in forensic science have provided new and powerful tools to identify the remains of the missing, often from the merest trace—a tooth or other fragment. These new techniques have enabled military experts to recover, repatriate, identify, and return the remains of lost service members. So promising are these scientific developments that they have raised the expectations of military families hoping to locate their missing. As Wagner shows, the possibility of such homecomings compels Americans to wrestle anew with their memories, as with the weight of their loved ones’ sacrifices, and to reevaluate what it means to wage war and die on behalf of the nation.

Author: Sarah E. Wagner

For more information


Anstett, Élisabeth and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (2018) Human remains and violence. An interdisciplinary journal

Fecha de publicación Título Editores Tipo
Human Remains and Violence. An interdisciplinary journal. Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2018 Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus Journal




Human Remains and Violence: An interdisciplinary journal is a biannual, peer-reviewed publication which draws together the different strands of academic research on the dead body and the production of human remains en masse, whether in the context of mass violence, genocidal occurrences or environmental disasters. Inherently interdisciplinary, the journal publishes papers from a range of academic disciplines within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Human Remains and Violence invites contributions from scholars working in a variety of fields and interdisciplinary research is especially welcome.




pp. 1-2(2)
Authors: Fournet, Caroline; Anstett, Élisabeth; Dreyfus, Jean-Marc

Exposure: the ethics of making, sharing and displaying photographs of human remains
pp. 3-24(22)
Authors: Harries, John; Fibiger, Linda; Smith, Joan; Adler, Tal; Szöke, Anna

Pervasive death: Teresa Margolles and the space of the corpse
pp. 25-40(16)
Author: Bacal, Edward

Displaying dead bodies: bones and human biomatter post-genocide
pp. 41-55(15)
Author: Auchter, Jessica

Bone memory: the necrogeography of the Armenian Genocide in Dayr al-Zur, Syria
pp. 56-75(20)Author: Semerdjian, Elyse

Violence against and using the dead: Ethiopia’s Dergue cases
pp. 76-92(17)
Author: Metekia, Tadesse Simie

Book Reviews
pp. 93-104(12)

Edited by Manchester University Press

Garibian, Sévane, Elisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (2017) Restos humanos e identificación. Violencia de masa, genocidio y el “giro forense”

Publication Date Title Edited by Type
Restos humanos e identificación. Violencia de masa, genocidio y el “giro forense” Sévane Garibian, Elisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus Book




EDITORS:  Sévane Garibian, Élisabeth Ansett y Jean-Marc Dreyfus.
WRITERS: Karel Berkhoff, Viacheslav Bitiutckii, Gabriel N. Finder, Gillian Fowler, Admir Jugo, Rémi Korman, José López Mazz, Tony Platt, Nicky Rousseau, Frances Tay, Tim Thompson y Sari Wastell.


Read index (in Spanish) (pdf) 

Read first pages (in Spanish) (pdf)



Labrador Méndez, German (2017) Culpables por la literatura. Imaginación política y contracultura en la Transición Española (1968-1986)

Publication Date Title Author Type
Culpables por la literatura. Imaginación política y contracultura en la Transición Española (1968-1986) German Labrador Méndez Book




Edited by Akal




Anstett, Elisabeth and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (2016) Human remains in society. Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence

Publication Date Title Edited by Type
Human remains in society. Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence Elisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus Book



Whether reburied, concealed, stored, abandoned or publicly displayed, human remains raise a vast number of questions regarding social, legal and ethical uses by communities, public institutions and civil society organisations. This book presents a ground-breaking account of the treatment and commemoration of dead bodies resulting from incidents of genocide and mass violence. Through a range of international case studies across multiple continents, it explores the effect of dead bodies or body parts on various political, cultural and religious practices. Multidisciplinary in scope, it will appeal to readers interested in this crucial phase of post-conflict reconciliation, including students and researchers of history, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, law, politics and modern warfare.





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

Élisabeth Anstett is 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.


Introduction. Corpses in society: about human remains, necro-politics, necro-economy and the legacy of mass violence – Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus
1. The unburied victims of Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion: where and when does the violence end? – David M. Anderson and Paul J. Lane

2. (Re)politicising the dead in post-Holocaust Poland: the afterlives of human remains at the Belzec extermination camp – Zuzanna Dziuban

3. Chained corpses: warfare, politics and religion after the Habsburg Empire in the Julian March, 1930s-70s – Gaetano Dato

4. Exhumations in post-war rabbinical responsas – David Deutsch

5. (Re)cognising the corpse: individuality, identification and multidirectional memorialisation in post-genocide Rwanda – Ayala Maurer-Prager

6. Corpses of atonement: the discovery, commemoration and reinternment of eleven Alsatian victims of Nazi Terror, 1947-52 – Devlin M. Scofield

7. ‘Earth conceal not my blood’: forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims – Caroline Sturdy Colls

8. The return of Herero and Nama bones from Germany: the victims’ struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia – Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha

9. A Beothuk skeleton (not) in a glass case: rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland – the emotive immateriality of human remains – John Harries


Edited by  Manchester University Press

Baer, Alejandro and Natan Sznaider (2017) Memory and Forgetting in the Post-Holocaust Era



Memory and Forgetting in the Post-Holocaust Era Alejandro Baer and Natan Sznaider Book


To forget after Auschwitz is considered barbaric. Baer and Sznaider question this assumption not only in regard to the Holocaust but to other political crimes as well. The duties of memory surrounding the Holocaust have spread around the globe and interacted with other narratives of victimization that demand equal treatment. Are there crimes that must be forgotten and others that should be remembered?

In this book the authors examine the effects of a globalized Holocaust culture on the ways in which individuals and groups understand the moral and political significance of their respective histories of extreme political violence. Do such transnational memories facilitate or hamper the task of coming to terms with and overcoming divisive pasts? Taking Argentina, Spain and a number of sites in post-communist Europe as test cases, this book illustrates the transformation from a nationally oriented ethics to a trans-national one. The authors look at media, scholarly discourse, NGOs dealing with human rights and memory, museums and memorial sites, and examine how a new generation of memory activists revisits the past to construct a new future. Baer and Sznaider follow these attempts to manoeuvre between the duties of remembrance and the benefits of forgetting. This, the authors argue, is the “ethics of Never Again.”



List of figures


1 The Ethics of Never Again: global constellations

Nunca Más : Argentine Nazis and Judíos del Sur

3 Francoism reframed: the disappeared of the Spanish Holocaust

4 Eastern Europe: exhuming competing pasts

5 Beyond Antigone and Amalek : toward a memory of hope




Edited by Routledge

Hilbink, Lisa y Ofelia Ferrán – editors- (2017) Legacies of Violence in Contemporary Spain Exhuming the Past, Understanding the Present

Publication Date Title Edited by Type
Legacies of Violence in Contemporary Spain.
Exhuming the Past, Understanding the Present
Lisa Hilbink y Ofelia Ferrán Libro


This book provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of the multiple legacies of Francoist violence in contemporary Spain, with a special focus on the exhumations of mass graves from the Civil War and post-war era. The various contributions frame their study within a broader reflection on the nature, function and legacies of state-sanctioned violence in its many forms. Offering perspectives from fields as varied as history, political science, literary and cultural studies, forensic and cultural anthropology, international human rights law, sociology, and art, this volume explores the multifaceted nature of a society’s reckoning with past violence. It speaks not only to those interested in contemporary Spain and Western Europe, but also to those studying issues of transitional and post-transitional justice in other national and regional contexts.




Francisco Ferrándiz along with the publishers, Lisa Hilbink and Ofelia Ferrán, discusses the content of the book in the following podcast of University of Minnesota – Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies



Prologue:Opening Graves to Restore Memory   [José Antonio Martín Pallín]


Introduction: Legacies of Violence in Contemporary Spain  [Ofelia Ferrán and Lisa Hilbink]

Part I: Mass Graves: “Unearthing” the Memories of Violence

1. Afterlives: A Social Autopsy of Mass Grave Exhumations in Spain [Francisco Ferrándiz] 

2. The Spanish Civil War Forensic Labyrinth [Luis Ríos and Francisco Etxeberria]

3. Executed Women, Assassinated Women: Gender Repression in the Spanish Civil War and the Violence of the Rebels  [Queralt Solé]

4. Beyond the Mass Grave: Producing and Remembering Landscapes of Violence in Francois Spain [Alfredo González-Ruibal]


Part II: Political, Legislative and Judicial Responses to Past Violence

5. Rude Awakening: Franco’s Mass Graves and the Decomposition of the Spanish Transition Dream  [Ignacio Fernández de Mata]

6. Unsettling Bones, Unsettling Accounts: Spanish Perpetrators’ Confessions to Violence [Paloma Aguilar and Leigh A. Payne

7. Knocking on the Spanish Parliamen]t’s Door: The 2007 Law of Historical Memory and Its Aftermath [Rafael Escudero]

8. When You Wish Upon a Star: Baltasar Garzón and the Frustration of Legal Accountability for Franco-Era Crimes [Lisa Hilbink]


Part III: Cultural Representations of Violence

9. Poets of the Dead Society: The Cultural History of Francoist Mass Graves in the Pre-Democratic Poetic Archive [Germán Labrador Méndez] 

10. Pasts in Conflict: Stylized Realism and its Discontents in Historical Memory Film [Carmen Moreno-Nuño]

11. Regarding Past Violence [Ofelia Ferrán]


Part IV: Interview with Baltasar Garzón

Truth, Reparation and Justice: Interview with Baltasar Garzón, Then Magistrate of the National High Court of Spain, Conducted 26 April, 2011, Minneapolis, MN [Ofelia Ferrán and Lisa Hilbink]


Epilogue: Memory Walks, Justice Awakes [Emilio Silva]


Edited by Routledge

Anstett, Élisabeth and Jean-Marc Dreyfus – editors-(2015) Human remains and identification Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’

Publication Date Title Edited by Type
Human remains and identification
Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus Libro


Human remains and identification presents a pioneering investigation into the practices and methodologies used in the search for and exhumation of dead bodies resulting from mass violence. Previously absent from forensic debate, social scientists and historians here confront historical and contemporary exhumations with the application of social context to create an innovative and interdisciplinary dialogue, enlightening the political, social and legal aspects of mass crime and its aftermaths.

Through a ground-breaking selection of international case studies, Human remains and identification argues that the emergence of new technologies to facilitate the identification of dead bodies has led to a “forensic turn”, normalising exhumations as a method of dealing with human remains en masse. However, are these exhumations always made for legitimate reasons?

Multidisciplinary in scope, this book will appeal to readers interested in understanding this crucial phase of mass violence’s aftermath, including researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, forensic science, 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 – Elisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Part I: Agents
1. Bitter legacies: A war of extermination, grave looting, and culture wars in the American West – Tony Platt
2. Final chapter: Portraying the exhumation and reburial of Polish Jewish Holocaust victims in the pages of yizkor books – Gabriel Finder
3. Bykivnia: How grave robbers, activists, and foreigners ended official silence about Stalin’s mass graves near Kiev – Karel Berkhoff
4. The Concealment of Bodies during the Military Dictatorship in Uruguay (1973-84) – Jose Lopez Mazz

Part II: Methods
5. State secrets and concealed bodies: exhumations of Soviet-era victims in contemporary Russia – Viacheslav Bituitcki
6. A mere technical exercise? Challenges and technological solutions to the identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context – Tim Thompson and Gillian Fowler
7. Disassembling the pieces, reassembling the social: the forensic and political lives of mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sari Wastell and Admir Jugo

Part III: Stakes
8. ‘The political lives of dead bodies’ and ‘the disciplines of the dead’: a view from South Africa – Nicky Rousseau
9. Bury or display? The politics of exhumation in post genocide Rwanda – Remi Korman
10. Remembering the Japanese occupation massacres: mass graves in post-war Malaysia – Frances Tay


Edited by Manchester University Press