Events 2008-2009


Reflections on the Antinomies of Capitalist Modernity: History, the Holocaust, and the Left

Summer term 2009

Reflections on the Antinomies of Capitalist Modernity: History, the Holocaust, and the Left Moishe Postone Professor in the History Department at the University of Chicago   Monday 15 June , 7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies

Masterclass in Visual Ethics, with award-winning director, Refik Hodzik


Thursday, 30 April, 2-4pm, RHB 256.

Masterclass in Visual Ethics 
Refik Hodzic, co-founder of XY Films in Sarajevo and the recipient of numerous awards at international film festivals over the years, will be coming to Goldsmiths to offer a Masterclass in: ‘Visual Ethics and Documentary Film-making in Post-Conflict Societies’. 

This event is supported by the Centre for Visual Anthropology, the Centre for Global Media and Democracy, the Global Justice Unit, the Centre for Urban and Community Research, and the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths.

Double-bill Screening of ‘Justice Unseen’ and ‘Witness 710399’, followed by a Q+A with their award-winning director, Refik Hodzik


Thursday, 30 April, 5-8pm, RHB 309.

Double-bill screening of ‘Justice Unseen’ and ‘Witness 710399’ followed by a Q+A with award-winning Bosnian film director, Refik Hodzic.  

For the first time, Refik Hodzic’s two publicly acclaimed films will be screened together in London.  ‘Justice Unseen’ is a critical exploration of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia from the perspective of two communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Konjic and Prijedor), asking whether the prosecution of war criminals in the Hague has offered justice to the victims of war crimes ‘back at home’ or whether the Tribunal has proved an ‘expensive legal experiment.’  The other film, ‘Witness 710399’ tells the story of a father searching for the son that slipped out of his hand during the Srebrenica genocide, a story that the director says is the story of Bosnia and Herzegovina generally – a country painfully haunted by war crimes and their legacy.  Refik Hodzic will introduce both films and take questions afterwards. This event is supported by the Centre for Visual Anthropology, the Centre for Global Media and Democracy, the Global Justice Unit, the Centre for Urban and Community Research, and the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths.


The Legacy of the ICTY, Talk with International Liaison Officer, Refik Hodzic


Friday, 1 May, 4-6pm, Anthropology department ground floor seminar room (G8)

The Legacy of the ICTY, Talk with International Liaison Officer, Refik Hodzic 
Refik Hodzic, International Liaison Officer for the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) will offer a talk in the Anthropology Department, co-convened with the Global Justice Unit. Mr. Hodzic will offer a discussion of the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, its recent capacity-building efforts in ‘the region’ and raise broader issues about the role of criminal prosecutions and international legal interventions in the context of post-conflict social reconstruction projects. 

This event is supported by the Centre for Visual Anthropology, the Centre for Global Media and Democracy, the Global Justice Unit, the Centre for Urban and Community Research, and the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths.

Reinventing Social Emancipation through Epistemologies of the South, Prof. Boaventura de Sousa Santos


Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Wednesday 6 May, 2009, RHB SH, 4-6 pm.

The South is here understood as the metaphor of the systemic and unjust human suffering caused by global capitalism. The epistemologies of the South are the knowledges of the oppressed through which both counter-hegemonic conceptions of democracy, human rights and the rule of law can be developed and non-western conceptions of good life can be made credible as foundations for political alliances among different social movements.

Professor of Sociology at the School of Economics, University of Coimbra (Portugal), Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick.

For further information about this event, please contact Trudi Kent 

Spring term 2009

Bringing Justice Home: The Human Rights Trial of Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori

For more information on the Fujimori trial, see:


10 March 2009 


Prof. Lisa J. Laplante 
Marquette University Law School
Deputy Director, Praxis Institute for Social Justice

Lisa Laplante will discuss the significance and developments in the human rights criminal trial of Alberto Fujimori, president of Peru from 1990-2000. The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) findings have indicated that there were systematic human rights violations during the Fujimori presidency, often instigated as part of Fujimori’s publicly declared war against terrorism. In his campaign against local subversives, Fujimori erected draconian anti-terrorism law which in effect terrorized local populations. His trial for two massacres and the abduction of a journalist and businessman also responds to the TRC’s call for accountability. The trial of the former president is one of the first domestic proceedings for such abuses against a former head of state, and thus an important landmark in the development of human rights law and international criminal law. 

Lisa J. Laplante received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern merit scholar. She participated in Peru's political transition in various capacities for six years, beginning as a researcher with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission under a grant from the Notre Dame University Transitional Justice Program. She co-founded and is deputy director of the Praxis Institute for Social Justice. She was a member at the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (2007-2008), and now serves as a visiting assistant professor of law at Marquette University Law School (U.S.A).

‘Therapeutic’ Regimes of Governing Trauma and the Dea(r)th of the Political:
Politics of Missing Persons and ICMP’s “Bosnian Technology”


Dr Jasmina Husanovic 

3 March 2009 
Warmington Tower Seminar Room A
4pm – 6pm

This seminar reflects on the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in following through its mission – 'telling the story of a mass grave' and 'mapping a genocide' in the regions of former Yugoslavia. It situates it within some wider technological/discursive practices where this story-telling and mapping has unfolded in relation to the dominant master-narrative of 'therapeutic' or 'transitional' justice and operative (inter)national regimes of governance/power. Mass grave is a metaphor for human waste produced by political power and violence. We might be, as potential or actual human life/waste, already missing, both depoliticised and saturated with sovereign power, with the administration of life and death enacted (upon us) through languages of law and science, nation and religion. But these languages do not (politically) fill the ‘emptied out’ worlds around us after mass atrocity, where we once again live multiple depoliticisations through being mathematised (science), codified (law), culturalised (ethnicity/nation) and metaphysicised (religion). 

The seminar’s focus on ICMP’s work is a way of introducing a set of important questions: What is 'harvested/extracted' by the politics of witnessing to trauma of the missing persons (re)produced through the ICMP’s so-called ‘Bosnian technology’? How do the absolute indices of signification (constituted through 'mathemes of reassociation' and 'bar-codes' used in ICMP’s forensic and bioinformatic method of work) fix identity to the remains of the missing, whereby this identification reinserts the missing back into the orders of state and nation? What are the political implications of this and which political imperatives are upon us if we are to move from depoliticised 'bar-codes' towards repoliticised 'stories/faces/bodies' and acts of emancipatory politics as witnessing to trauma? Telling the story of a mass grave and mapping a genocide implies asking in whose name and for the stakes of what kind of ethico-political gesture this is to be done, especially in the context of dominant national and international forms of political authority and governance constituting our political, symbolic and material life/death (biopolitics, biocapital, biocitizenship…). 

Jasmina Husanovic is a lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Tuzla, and a visiting fellow at the LSE Centre for the Study of Global Governance. She currently works on issues of memory, trauma, biopolitics, and emancipatory politics, and has published widely on these topics.


Autumn term 2008-2009

Justice on the Slaughter-Bench: the Problem of War Guilt in Arendt and Jaspers


November 2008

This paper develops a meta-ethical inquiry into the nature and possibility of international justice. It sees the understanding of such justice as caught between two poles. On one hand, there is a naively optimistic vision of its possibility in a world of nation-states and power politics; on the other, an overly reductive and pessimistic account of justice as only that of the victor. The ethical truth lies between these two positions, in an aporetic middle ground. The paper addresses its concerns by constructing a debate between Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers out of their different positions in Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem" and Jaspers's "The Question of German War Guilt". What emerges rather is an uneasy relationship between the legal and the ethical, where the latter both draws on and disturbs legal categories.

Anthropology and Post-Conflict Societies a seminar series organised by the Unit for Global Justice and Department of Anthropology


Wednesdays, 4-6pm, RHB 309 from 1 October to 10 December (excl. 5 November)
[ anthropology-and-post-conflict-societies ]

Agamben and (the Politics of) the Image


Tuesday 2 December

Professor John Lechte (Sociology, Macquarie University) in discussion with Ben Noys (University of Chichester) and James Martin and Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths).
What is the role and place of the image in Agamben's work? How does the image link Agamben's so-called literary and political writings? What is the politics of the image in Agamben's theory?
Presented by the Research Unit in Politics and Ethics, Department of Politics, and the Unit for Global Justice, Department of Sociology.
[ agamben ]