Date of this Version
R.J. Hartley, "Signifying the Place of Unforgettable Memory: Atrocity and Trauma in a Post-Conflict Landscape," Anthropology Faculty Publications, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014.
After active inter-group lethal violence subsides places at which atrocities occurred are often assigned significance, reflecting an altered social topography influenced by ideology that may foster the hardening of socio-ethnic boundary distinctions. While using a comparativist approach, this paper explores the relationships between socio-cultural trauma, places of atrocity, and socio-political polarization. Two sites in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, where highly publicized massacres occurred, illustrate the power of place significance in social environments vulnerable to flare-ups of violent conflict.