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February 5, 2016

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Friday, February 5, 2016 - 1:00pm

Please join us on Friday, February 5, 1-5:30pm for conference on"Human Rights and Mass Violence: The Global Politics of Truth and Justice."

Governments around the world continue to create tribunals and truth commissions to redress mass violence, with questionable results. As the proliferation of trials and truth commissions continues, there are growing concerns about how these different mechanisms fulfill their ambitious mandates. In particular, how do these mechanisms create an accurate account of the violence, and how can they better serve survivors of conflict? Scholars are addressing these concerns in a number of ways, asking questions about how to construct narratives from witness statements, the role of social scientists and other experts, and how to engage civil society in the development and ongoing work of tribunals and truth commissions.

The first panel will feature commentary by Dr. Pascha Bueno-Hansen from the University of Delaware, with a talk titled "Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru: Decolonizing Transitional Justice." Dr. Angelica Bernal from the UMass, Amherst will serve as a discussant. 

The second panel, from 3-5pm, will feature Dr. Richard Wilson from the University of Connecticut, with a talk titled "Writing History in International Criminal Trials, Lisa J. Laplante from New England School of Law, with a talk titled "Memory Battles: Guatemala's Public Debate and the Genocide Trial of Efrain Rios Montt," Dr. Jamie Rowen from UMass Amherst, with a talk titled "Justice is a Dead Mule in the Road: a Truth Commission in Colombia," and Dr. Vladimir Petrovic from Northeastern University, with a talk titled "Balkan Rashomon: The Yugoslav Conflict in International and National Prosecution." Dr. Charli Carpenter from UMass, Amherst will serve as a discussant.

This half-day interdisciplinary conference takes place in the Cape Cod Room of the UMass Student Union Building. A catered reception will follow.

This conference is sponsored by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, the Political Science and Legal Studies Department, the School for Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Horwitz Endowment.