This workshop will examine the role of silence and silencing during post-authoritarian and post-conflict transitional periods. Mechanisms established during these periods, such as courts, truth commissions, public apologies, memorials and even reparations programs often champion public discussion about experiences, both directly and indirectly. Talking is frequently understood to be a cathartic release, but what about those who do not wish to speak about the past? Marita Eastmond and Johanna Mannegren Selimovic (2012) argue that silence in Bosnia and Herzegovina conveys its own social meanings. Rosalind Shaw (2007) argues that Sierra Leoneans were more interested in ‘forgetting’ than talking about the past. In these instances, silence is attributed to culture and yet, it appears to be a cross-cultural theme in many transitional societies. Other scholars, such as Cheryl Glenn (2004), argue that silence is a specific form of rhetoric, whilst Bhambra and Shilliam (2008) point out that canonical disciplines can also be complicit in silencing. We build on this body of knowledge, and advance it by investigating the roles, practices and understandings of silence in formal and informal spaces in periods of transition.
We are currently putting together a special issue proposal for Social &
Legal studies, based on the workshop proceedings.
A limited amount of funding is available to cover travel expenses (PhD students will be prioritised). Please note that we are only able to make modest contributions to travel expenses and are unlikely to be able to cover the full cost of non-UK travel. Please let us know if you would require funding, specifying estimate costs when submitting your abstract.
There is NO registration fee for the workshop itself. All abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted to Laura Martin (email@example.com) and Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik (firstname.lastname@example.org) by *Friday,
December 4 th, 2015.
Successful participants will be notified by mid-December.
The program will be a one-day event happening at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science. The workshop will consist of paper presentations and panel discussions. In addition, there will also be a wine reception followed by a film screening of The Look of Silence in the evening and will be followed by a panel discussion thatwill draw on some of the broader theoretical and conceptual conclusions from both the panels and the film.