Corpses, Dead Body Politics, and Urban Cultural Landscapes in Romania, 1945-2012
This talk will be presented by Dr. Craig Young, the 2012 RCUCH Flaherty Visiting Scholar and Reader in Human Geography, Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr. Young focuses on how corpses are the subjects of attempts by states to inscribe public space with meanings in support of political projects— 'dead body politics'— and how corpses themselves possess a materiality and agency which shapes identity formation. Corpses can play an important part of the cultural history of cities, as they are incorporated into networks and urban assemblages of human and non-human, material and non-material actors, representation, and landscapes. In themselves they form a focus for (political) identity formation, the construction of history and memory, and rituals which connect urban cultural landscapes with the political projects of the (nation-)state. These themes will be developed through a case study of the treatment of the dead bodies of Communist leaders in state-socialist and post-socialist Romania.
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