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.
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.