Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence


March 21-25, 2012
Concordia University

It is sometimes said that we live in an “age of testimony.” Eyewitness accounts from survivors of war, genocide and other human rights violations fill our airwaves and our bookshelves. Moving passages from survivors’ regularly punctuate the public reports of social justice organizations. Large testimony projects have recorded tens of thousands of individuals. Thousands more have told their horrific stories to truth and reconciliation commissions and courtrooms around the world.

Survivor testimony has developed a conventional form and rhetoric. For the most part, survivors of mass violence are understood as either eyewitnesses to history or as people traumatized by it. Testimony and trauma are thus firmly embedded in legal and medical discourses. Survivor testimony has become familiar; indeed, ubiquitous

Several CEREV affiliates will be presenting their work in this upcoming conference. To read more and check the program, click here.

Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence