15 March 2016 from 15:30 to 17:30

Seminar: Why Look at Perpetrators?

Nicolae Ceauşescu and Kim Il Sung during the party and state visit to the DPR Korea (1971). Source: Wikimedia Commons/Romanian Communism Online Photo Collection under the digital ID 33292X4X9
Nicolae Ceauşescu and Kim Il Sung during the party and state visit to the DPR Korea (1971). Source: Wikimedia Commons/Romanian Communism Online Photo Collection under the digital ID 33292X4X9

Dr Kjell Anderson (NIOD Institute), Dr Ugur Ümit Üngör (International and Political History) and Dr Susanne Knittel (Comparative Literature), will speak during the seminar 'Why Look at Perpetrators?' which will take place at Utrecht University on 15 March. The seminar is supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Utrecht University focus area Cultures, Citizenship, and Human Rights.

The Seminar

During the seminar, the three speakers will present their current research surrounding the figure of the perpetrator, from the perspective of their respective disciplines - sociology and law, history, and comparative literature, respectively. The figure of the perpetrator occupies a paradoxical position in contemporary society, characterized by a constant oscillation between fascination, repugnance, demonization and, in some cases, sympathy. There has been a growing interest among scholars in diverse fields in the figure of the perpetrator and about questions of guilt and responsibility for mass violence. The three speakers are all members of the Perpetrator Studies Network, which was founded by Knittel and Üngör. In addition to presenting their own work, they will also present the network and its ongoing activities.

Dr. Kjell Anderson
Dr Kjell Anderson

The speakers

Kjell Anderson is a researcher and lecturer at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. He is also currently the Second Vice President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. His research is comparative and interdisciplinary with a particular focus on perpetrators of mass atrocities. His forthcoming monograph, The Criminology of Genocide (Routledge 2016), involves interviews with perpetrators of mass atrocities in several countries.

Dr. Ugur Ümit Üngör. Foto Jussi Puikkonen/KNAW
Dr Ugur Ümit Üngör. Foto Jussi Puikkonen/KNAW

Ugur Ümit Üngör is Associate Professor at the Department of History at Utrecht University and Research Fellow at the NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. He has published on aspects of genocide, the Armenian and Rwandan cases, as well as on mass violence in Syria. He is currently leading an NWO VIDI project that examines the involvement of paramilitaries in mass political violence.

Dr. Suzanne Knittel
Dr Suzanne Knittel

Susanne Knittel is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University. In her research she explores questions of memory, commemoration, and cultural amnesia. Her current NWO VENI research project, 'Faces of Evil: The Figure of the Perpetrator in Contemporary Memory Culture' traces the figure of the perpetrator through post-1989 memory culture in Germany and Romania, where the joint legacies of Fascism and Communism render questions of perpetration and victimhood inherently ambiguous and complex.

Start date and time
15 March 2016 15:30
End date and time
15 March 2016 17:30
Entrance fee
free of charge