The Body in Memorial Site Education. Contributions of Politicized Somatics to Memorial Site Education in Germany

Master's Thesis, 2020

96 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Contents

1 Writing on the land of my ancestry

2 Grounding: the body (in)to Peace and Conflict Studies
2.1 Searching for the body in PACS
2.1.1 Touched by war: explicit bodies in PACS
2.1.2 Entryways of the body: implicit bodies in PACS The body entering through the arts in peacebuilding The body entering through the embodied turn in the social sciences The body entering through feminist peace research The body entering through postcolonial and decolonial critique The body in PACS: where to go from here?
2.2 From body to soma: bringing politicized somatics into PACS
2.2.1 Somatics
2.2.2 Politicized somatics

3 Exploring: the body in memorial site education
3.1 A politicized somatic context analysis: somas at memorial sites The site of Germany: WWII and the Holocaust The site of family: trauma and intergenerational transference The site of community: collective trauma and collective memory The site of institutions: shaping collective memory and memorial sites
3.2 Memorial site education in Germany
3.2.1 The pedagogy of memorial site education
3.2.2 The profession of memorial site education
3.3 Politicized somatic contributions to memorial site education
3.3.1 Bringing politicized somatic awareness to existing approaches
3.3.2 Integrating politicized somatic elements into existing formats
3.3.3 Offering formats based on politicized somatic methodology

4 Walking towards a somatic society of peace

5 References

List of Abbreviations

IHRA International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

IR International Relations

ISMETA International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association

PACS Peace and Conflict Studies

WWII Second World War

1 Writing on the land of my ancestry

“My body has an ancestry.” (Frank, 2012, p. 392)

„Man zeige jemandem, der sich bisher noch nicht sonderlich mit der Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus beschäftigt hat, eine Karte Europas, in welche die [Konzentrationslager…] eingezeichnet sind. Eine große Karte, die mit vielen, sehr vielen kleinen Punkten übersät ist. Deutschland hat Europa mit seinem System der Lager überzogen. […] dafür steht jede einzelne Gedenkstätte. Wo vor wenig mehr als […siebzig] Jahren dies die Wirklichkeit war, leben wir heute.“ (Reemtsma, 2010)

As I am writing this introduction, I am sitting at my desk at home – only 33km away from the memorial site at the former Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg. I was born in Nuremberg, not far from the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. All my life, my feet have walked on the same ground that only two generations before me unimaginable horrors have taken place. I was educated on and have learned about the history of National Socialism in Germany but where the past is present for me is not in my head; it is the sensory experience of realizing how the land I live on and the ancestry I come from is interwoven with this history that makes me wonder: how does this history shape me, and really: anyone?

This thesis takes a look at the body in memorial site education at former Nazi concentration camps1 in Germany. On the subtle and not so subtle ways in which bodies are shaped by the Holocaust2 until today, the ways the body is nevertheless mostly overlooked in memorial site education and the pedagogical implications of recognizing the body in memorial site education. I engage the methodology of politicized somatics in the case study of memorial site education as an example of how Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) could re-cognize the body and somatic dimensions of peace and conflict in general.

In analysing the role of the body in memorial site education and respective politicized somatic recommendations for its pedagogy, the topic of this research is situated in the wider societal discourse on Holocaust memorial culture in Germany and beyond. As the generation of the Holocaust is gradually passing away, the generations who have not experienced its historical context themselves are left with the question of how to respectfully deal with its memory – and its spatial presence at memorial sites. Furthermore, memory of the Holocaust has undergone a process of pluralization, cosmopolitanization and universalization since 1945; globalization has contributed to transferring memories of the Holocaust across time and space. Today, many different communities of memory exist all over the world, and also within Germany – where memorial culture constitutes a central element of national identity. German memorial culture has (been) developed over time and has now arrived at a crossroads at what Aleida Assmann calls: „das wachsende Unbehagen an der Erinnerungskultur“ (Assmann, 2016, p. 13). The end of the era of witnesses, the mediatization of Holocaust memory in a digitalized world and the diversification of society shaped by migration are only a few challenges that demand memorial culture to change. This thesis turns the spotlight on memorial site education as one component of German memorial culture, and how “the body” could be one actor in facilitating its evolution. Tapping into the zeitgeist of discussing future collective remembering of the Holocaust in Germany, politicized somatics offers a unique perspective to reimagine the purpose and methods of memorial site education. The topic of German memorial site education is not only relevant to current public debates, but also to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS). As an international discipline, PACS is predominantly concerned with contemporary issues of war, violence, and peace that “are often dualistic spatial demarcations of a (peaceful) here and a (violent) there, near and far, global north and south” (Namberger, Wischnath, & Chojnacki, 2019, p. 1). This theoretical case study on the body in memorial site education in Germany thus “retain[s] the local from the spatial hegemony of the distant other” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 25) in peace research: understanding Germany as a country that is also post-conflict, where the memorialization of a violent past is an important part of building, cultivating and educating for peace – here, now.

The question that this exploration of the body in memorial site education sets out to answer is: how can the perspective of politicized somatics contribute to memorial site education at former Nazi concentration camps in Germany? It is based on the hypothesis that recognizing the body3 could inform more holistic, multidimensional, and transformative iterations of memorial site education, and memorial culture in general. To answer the research question, this thesis is structured in two main parts. Tracing (theorizations of) the body in PACS, I will first build the theoretical foundation for introducing politicized somatics as the analytical framework for the case study. On this ground, the second part explores the role of the body in memorial site education. It is organized in a politicized somatic context analysis, a pedagogical overview of memorial site education in Germany and a concluding chapter where I propose suggestions how politicized somatics could contribute to memorial site education. Overall, this thesis represents a desk research that touches upon several different academic discourses, forging a bridge from the theoretical to the practical implications of recognizing the body as relevant to memorial site education – and to PACS.

2 Grounding: the body (in)to Peace and Conflict Studies

2.1 Searching for the body in PACS

In this chapter, I will present a literature review that maps out the human body and its theorizations in PACS, in order to later situate politicized somatics into the field. I will move from the explicit to the implicit ways in which the physical body appears in the field of PACS: from few recent scholarly works that theorize the body explicitly, to entryways for the body through research that implicitly carries the body into PACS.

2.1.1 Touched by war: explicit bodies in PACS

“Think of conflict and you quickly bump up against bodies – yelling and screaming, pushing and shoving, punching and wrestling, stabbing and shooting. Even in purely verbal conflict the body swerves quickly into view: reddened faces, clenched jaws, tensed muscles, and quickened breath.” (Levine, 2007, p. 37)

With these associations that come to mind when thinking of conflict, Levine illustrates the actual physicality of conflict. While “few activities of men [sic] are more physical than the practice of war” (Mensch, 2009, p. 3), the body is only very rarely attended to in the field of PACS – in contrast to literal battlefields. My search for the human body in PACS begins with its most overt manifestation: physical violence and how it affects bodies. Or said with the metaphor independently used by MacScorley and Väyrynen: “bodies that are touched by war” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 48). In moving beyond “war's touch” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 2) in its literal sense, I will depart from the theorization of direct violence and arrive at the central proposition that “few in today's interconnected world remain completely isolated from war's touch” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 2).

The theorization of the human body as affected by physical (and other forms of) violence has entered Peace and Conflict Studies through the work of Johan Galtung. He elaborated the triangular distinction between direct (personal/physical), structural and cultural violence as well as a corresponding definition of negative and positive peace as the absence of direct, or structural and cultural violence, respectively (Galtung, 1990, p. 291). His quest of defining violence started with the assumption that “violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations” (Galtung, 1969, p. 168). Violence thereafter would be the “somatic incapacitation, or deprivation of health, alone (with killing as the extreme form), at the hands of an actor who intends this to be the consequence” (Galtung, 1969, p. 168) – a narrow concept which he rejected due to its oversimplification, and later extended upon comprehensively. What becomes clear in Galtung’s attempts at defining violence is his treatment of mind and body as separate, with the body as object, or “tool” (Galtung, 1969, p. 174). Additionally, Galtung uses the word somatic as the adjective of the objectified body to demarcate the body/mind dualism “when we move from somatic aspects of human life […] to mental aspects” (Galtung, 1969, p. 169). I would like to clarify at this point that I am deliberately distinguishing between the terms body and soma – or somatic – and am therefore not using them interchangeably. A differentiation between the two allows for delineating specific ontological and epistemological implications of a politicized somatics, as I will gradually develop further in this first theoretical part of this thesis.

I have begun the search for the body in PACS with the typologies of violence(s) by Galtung for two reasons: Firstly, his work goes hand in hand with “the birth of peace research” (Gleditsch, Nordkvelle, & Strand, 2014, p. 146) at the “intersection of peace activism and the emergence of modern social science” (ibid.) in the post-war era in the 1950s. Galtung’s early works therefore serve as a temporal marker for some of the first explicit references to the human body in PACS. And secondly, the dualistic approach to treating body and mind as separate in his differentiation of violences can be seen as ontological and epistemological blueprint for most peace research that followed up until today.

After these early remarks on the human body in PACS, it seems like the body’s role in conflict and peace has been considered sufficiently defined and not worthy of further attention from scholars in the field. What one mainly finds when looking for the body in the literature of PACS is congruent statements on the research gap in shape of the human body. “The body at war has […] been subject to a series of erasures in academic discourse” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 13) and “Although social conflict has obvious ties with physical combat, the literature on social conflict ignores its corporeal substratum” (Levine, 2007, p. 37). Furthermore, the omission of the body, both “in its flesh-and-blood concreteness as well as its conceptual[…] slipperiness” (Rodríguez, 2011, p. 41), has been increasingly recognized as a limitation to understanding conflicts and building peace by several authors beyond conventional war scholarship (Väyrynen 2019; Berents 2015; Acland et al. 2014; Beausoleil and LeBaron 2013; Levine 2007).

I will now give an overview of recent scholarly works that stand out from the literature in their explicit theorization of the human body as relevant for PACS. They help forge a bridge from the literal sense of war’s touch as direct violence to the multitude of ways in which war “touches” bodies as “site[s] and resource[s] in conflict” (Acland, LeBaron, & MacLeod, 2014, p. 13) “across spatial and temporal boundaries” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 48) from war to peace. I selected the works presented in this literature review according to two criteria: the depth of analyis they provide in explicitly theorizing the body and as well as their relevance for the case study of politicized somatic contributions to memorial site education in Germany.

One of the first publications that shows up in tracing the body in PACS is the volume “War and the body: Militarisation, practice and experience” edited by MacSorley from 2013. It comprises 14 contributions by authors from a range of different disciplines from political science to geography. Thematically, the volume as a whole is assigned to war studies. Organized in the three parts “Militarising bodies”, “Embodying war” and “Corporeal Aftermaths”, the authors illuminate issues around war and the body from the act of killing in the age of cyborgs, disability and masculinities to war wounds and memorializing the veteran body. The volume thereby recognizes the analytical relevance of embodiment and bodily issues which “have often been denied in the annals and ontology of conventional war scholarship” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 1). While “the body remains one of the most contested concepts in the social sciences” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 239), these issues are important to include in the study of war as “the reality of war is […] politics incarnate, politics written on and experienced through the thinking, feeling bodies” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 1) of humans: “From steeled combatants to abject victims, from the grieving relative to the exhausted aid worker, war occupies innumerable bodies in a multitude of ways, profoundly shaping lives and ways of being human” (MacSorley, 2013, p. 1). The book “War and the body” is relevant to the case study of memorial site education in Germany as it asks questions such as “What unspoken legacies of war do we carry silently as embodied narratives that shape the lives that we live?” (Seidler, 2013, p. 225).

While “War and the body” as an edited volume only loosely spotlights different aspects of a study of war that recognizes the body, Lauren Wilcox offers a more in-depth analysis of the relation between violence and the body in the monograph “Bodies of violence: Theorizing embodied subjects in international relations”, published in 2015. Wilcox characterizes the field of International Relations (IR) as “essentially disembodied” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 3), comprehending “bodies only as inert objects animated by the minds of individuals” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 3). The central argument of her book is that “the bodies that […] practices of violence take as their object are deeply political bodies, constituted in reference to historical political conditions while at the same time acting upon our world” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 3). Building on feminist theorizations on embodiment from and beyond International Relations, and particularly the work of Judith Butler, Wilcox addresses the ways in which the human body is engaged in contemporary political violence: in torture/force-feeding, suicide bombing, airport security procedures, and precision warfare, thereby making a strong case for “[u]nderstanding the body not only as something that is acted upon in instances of violence, but also as something that is constituted in and through violence” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 6). This dynamic reading of embodiment defies the view of security studies to see bodies as objects, and people affected by violence as only bodies. Because of this individuated, objectified and biological take on human bodies, IR theory “has been unable to conceptualize bodies as constituted in relation to one another” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 5). Hence, with her book “Bodies of violence”, Wilcox proposes a “social and relational ontology of the body” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 200) for IR – and thus potentially its subfield PACS, which also resonates with the ontology of politicized somatics.

This social and relational ontology of bodies is also called for by Christine Sylvester in her article “War Experiences/War Practices/War Theory” (Sylvester, 2012). She proposes to study war as experience in “social war studies” (Sylvester 2012, p. 483), requiring “that human bodies come into focus as units that have war agency and are also prime targets of war violence” (Sylvester, 2012, p. 484). Her article also highlights the contributions that feminist IR scholars have to make in finally addressing one of the key elements of war in IR: “its actual mission of injuring human bodies and destroying normal patterns of social relations” (Sylvester, 2012, p. 484).

Moving on from scholarly contributions that address the human body in relation to violence and war, and thereby moving beyond the literal war’s touch, one book has been particular formative in developing this thesis: Tarja Väyrynen’s monograph “Corporeal Peacebuilding: Mundane Bodies and Temporal Transitions”, published in 2019 as part of the “Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies” Series edited by Oliver Richmond. After the works from War Studies and International Relations, Väyrynen’s research examines the body in peacebuilding. On the basis of an overview of literature in Peace and Conflict Studies that considers the human body – such as feminist and postcolonial works – Väyrynen develops a theoretical framework of peacebuilding as corporeal, temporal, and mnemonic. Supported by case studies from Finland, her framework brings together “affect, emotions and the somatic and [provides] an understanding of the body as both the subject and object of discourses, practices and policies of peacebuilding” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 122). Essentially, she thereby establishes that “post-conflict is not ‘there and then’, but also ‘here and now’” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 2). In developing her notion of corporeal peacebuilding, Väyrynen joins the standpoint of the “local turn” scholarship in critiquing the liberal peace in its “abstractness and the lack of context of theorizing peace” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 23) as well as its inherent dominance of neo-liberal governance, imposing models of Westphalian state sovereignty. However, she does not exactly “take the local turn”, as she claims its projection of “the local and subaltern [to be] constructed as distant others whose emancipatory potential the (Western and male local turn) scholar is concerned” about (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 25). A peacebuilding in the here and now as everyday and mundane practices of peace hence retains “the local from the spatial hegemony of the distant other” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 25). Väyrynens “Corporeal Peacebuilding: Mundane Bodies and Temporal Transitions” offers two positions that are particular relevant to the case study of politicized somatic contributions to memorial site education in Germany: One being that there is no singular body – that “body is always already multiple” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 3). Väyrynen proposes that PACS “can think through bodily affect as collective and social” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 126). This understanding pre-empts the possible criticism of bringing the body (back) into PACS as medicalizing, pathologizing or individualizing. And additional to this take on mundane bod ies, the “Temporal Transitions” emphasize how bodies “that are touched by war and violence transfer war across spatial and temporal boundaries to peacebuilding and peace. It follows that post-conflict space is filled with bodies that are touched by violence” (Väyrynen, 2019, p. 48). Transferred to the case study of memorial site education in Germany, this means that the Second World War and the Holocaust are in some way living in the bodies of those who find themselves in the “post-conflict spaces” at memorial sites today – passed on through the bodies touched by war and genocide at the time.

The notion of a corporeal everyday peace is also brought forward by Helen Berents in the article “An embodied everyday peace in the midst of violence” (Berents, 2015), published in the journal “Peacebuilding”. She agrees with Väyrynen in her critique of liberal peacebuilding narratives and their abstract definitions of peace, and also at least implies where the “local turn” perspectives on peacebuilding have fallen short: “An attention to bodies, and embodied practice, destabilises the assumptions of distance, impartiality and knowing” (Berents, 2015, p. 194) and therefore renders peace “not abstract, but built through everyday practices amidst violence” (Berents, 2015, p. 186). According to Vaittinen et al., there is a “tradition” emerging in contemporary PACS that focuses on exactly this everyday peace, relating to the “local turn” but emphasizing social practices “towards everyday diplomacy or people-to-people activities that can move a society towards conflict transformation” (Vaittinen, Donahoe, Kunz, Bára Ómarsdóttir, & Roohi, 2019, p. 195). However, Berents’ article on embodied everyday peace remains so far the only contribution in this emerging literature that explicitly points out the relevance of the human body in these everyday practices, albeit without an investigation into its deeper implications. The everyday peace and its practices certainly hold much more potential for advancing the theorization of human bodies in PACS in the future.

Speaking of practice, two works stood out to me in their integrated approach of both recognizing theoretical implications of the human body in PACS as well as respective practical applications for conflict transformation. The first one being the volume “The Choreography of Resolution: Conflict, Movement, and Neuroscience” edited by LeBaron, MacLeod and Acland in 2014. It brings together contributions from 23 authors, ranging from senior researchers in PACS to mediators and practitioners working with arts and movement modalities who have together participated in the “Dancing at the Crossroads Project”, a 4-year exploration of new directions in conflict theory and practice. In their search for what was missing in the canon of PACS and “why conflicts had not more successfully shifted in local and global settings […they] came to believe that […] cognitive methods drawing on so-called rational processes have limited applicability unless they are accompanied by tools that access the less-obvious aspects of conflict as it lives in our bodies and affects our ability to relate with others.” (Acland et al., 2014, p. 12)

The interdisciplinary accounts weave together theory and practice from various disciplines offer theoretical frameworks, case studies and hands-on interventions to conflict as it gets “under our skin” (Acland et al., 2014, p. 12). While the volume is centered around dance and choreographies of conflict and resolution, it provides a foundational mapping of the role the human body plays in conflict in general, acknowledging how “modes of engagement in conflict are filtered through complex systems of somatically braided cognition” (Acland et al., 2014, p. 20).

A second work integrating theory and practice on the body in PACS is the monograph “Dancing conflicts, unfolding peaces. Movement as method to elicit conflict transformation” (Facci, 2020) by Paula Ditzel Facci. Filling the “void of embodiment and relationality” (Facci, 2020, p. 7) in peace research, Facci explores the potential of movement, and particular dance, to conflict transformation and building peace on intrapersonal and relational levels. From a theoretical analysis of the interconnections between peace and dance in different traditions, to practical investigations of movement and dance as tools in conflict transformation, she provides an insightful account of the possibilities of engaging the human body in the field of peace and conflict for scholars and practitioners alike.

Facci’s book builds strongly upon the work of Wolfgang Dietrich and his Many Peaces theory (Dietrich, 2008, 2011): “a systematic panorama of diverse interpretations of peace in world history and culture” (Facci, 2020, p. 9), integrating energetic, moral, modern, postmodern, and transrational interpretations of peace into a manyfold ontology. Dietrich also proposes approaches to engage his theory of Many Peaces in conflict transformation, and in his second book of the Many Peaces series analyses and presents in detail explicitly body-based modalities for building peace: from breath- and voice- to movement-based methods (Dietrich, 2011). Overall, Dietrich attends to the body in peace studies in a relatively practice-oriented way, more so than explicitly developing a body-inclusive ontology, like for example Wilcox and Väyrynen did. There is also a research group called “Body Oriented Approaches and Arts in Peace and Conflict Transformation” at the Research Center for Peace and Conflict “InnPeace” at the University of Innsbruck, whose peace studies program Dietrich has been strongly involved in building. However, the research group does not yet display any of their work on their website.

Dietrich’s work on conflict transformation in turn is based on John Paul Lederach’s proposal of elicit conflict transformation (Lederach, 2008) and the call for being more culturally sensitive to resources for peacebuilding that are available in any given context, rather than exporting a prescriptive and abstract template of peacebuilding as a one-size-fits-all approach. Where Lederach becomes relevant in the search for the body in PACS is through his books “When blood and bones cry out. Journeys through the soundscape of healing and reconciliation” (Lederach & Lederach, 2010) – which he wrote together with his daughter – and “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace” (Lederach, 2005). In the former, “When blood and bones cry out”, the authors venture through a set of essays into the sonic dimensions of conflict and peace, and while therein not explicitly theorizing the body, they do argue in their presentation of sonic aspects of social healing that sound holistically interacts with the body. “The body that holds the violence now rumbles with the vibration and echo that touches deep within yet bounces out to join others.” (Lederach & Lederach, 2010, p. 184) This poetic line illustrates the resonance of “When blood and bones cry out” with the socio-political and relational ontology of bodies that are touched by war as it gradually takes shape in the course of this literature review. The latter book, “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace” draws from Lederach’s experience as a mediator and peacebuilding practitioner in its outline of peacebuilding not only as a science, but also an art. He highlights how important aesthetics, the arts and embodied imagination are to the reflexive peace worker. This serves as a smooth transition to my next chapter “Entryways of the body: implicit bodies in PACS”, where my exploration of the human body in PACS goes into how the body implicitly already plays a role in the field: starting with arts-based peacebuilding.

In closing this part on the more explicit theorizations of the human body in PACS, I would like to recall the steps along the way of mapping the literature that attends to the body – and that explicitly says so: forging a bridge from the literal touch of war and violence, it’s embodied transference across time and space to bodies that are dancing, sounding, moving from conflict to peace. The presented recent edited volumes, monographs and academic articles specifically showcase the manyfold relevance of the human body for both theory and practice in the field of PACS. They also recognize the contested nature of the body in academia and raise further questions about the ontological and epistemological implications of taking embodiment seriously. Where all of the authors agree is that, nevertheless, bringing the body back into PACS is a worthwhile undertaking that will help move beyond some of the limitations of the dominant disembodied paradigm to understanding violence, war and conflict more holistically – and to translating its theories into peacebuilding practices that lead to people experiencing their version of peace.

2.1.2 Entryways of the body: implicit bodies in PACS

In this second part of mapping the human body in PACS, I move from explicit to implicit ways the body appears in the literature, both of PACS itself and of the disciplines that it draws upon. Starting with arts-based peacebuilding and how it brings the body with it, I will enter the wider field of the social sciences and the “embodied turn” that has made the body relevant and explicit in the last 50 years. I will then show how feminist peace research and postcolonial/decolonial critiques are paving the way for the body to enter PACS, turning its implicitness into explicit attention. And lastly, I will conclude the search for explicit and implicit bodies in PACS and open the floor for politicized somatics as a pathway of “where to go from here?” in the next chapter. The body entering through the arts in peacebuilding

Arts-based peacebuilding deserves its own sub-chapter in this literature review because of its emerging body of work that, albeit from the margins, is gaining more and more attention in the field of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. In contrast to the previous chapter on explicit bodies in PACS, literature on arts-based peacebuilding was by far easier to find as its mainly subsumed under the searchable labels arts-based peacebuilding, the arts in peacebuilding or different art forms like theatre or dance in connection with peacebuilding or conflict transformation. And while reviewing explicit bodies in PACS was a task of puzzling together individual works, arts-based peacebuilding presented itself as a more established, defined area of research and practice. The arts and their role in peacebuilding and conflict transformation are relevant to the search for the human body in PACS because they disrupt and complement the disembodied, rationalistic, and technical character of dominant theories and approaches in the field. They do so by employing arts-based principles and methods, often involving creative processes that are expressed through the body. The body therefore is inherent in arts-based peacebuilding but is rarely being theorized itself more concretely. The human body seems to be, even in the literature on arts-based peacebuilding, “apparently so obvious that its very obviousness makes us oblivious to it” (Acland et al., 2014, p. 8). That being said, I will now sketch a non-exhaustive state of the arts in peacebuilding with a focus on the entryways it – at least potentially – opens up for the body into PACS.

Lederach’s “The Moral Imagination” (Lederach, 2005) and Lisa Schirch’s “Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding” (Schirch, 2005) have “situate[d] the creative process as a central element of peacebuilding” (Shank & Schirch, 2008, p. 219). The growing interest in arts-based peacebuilding also becomes evident in several recent books focusing on the role of specific arts in building peace, including music as for example in the before mentioned “When blood and bones cry out” (Lederach & Lederach, 2010); theatre as in “Theater for Peacebuilding” (Premaratna, 2019b) and “Acting Together: Performance and the creative transformation of conflict” (Cohen, Walker, & Gutierrez Varea, 2011); photography and art in “Visual Peace: Images, Spectatorship and the Politics of Violence” (Möller, 2013); as well as the works on dance that I have included in the previous chapter because they theorize the body more explicitly (Acland et al. 2014; Facci 2020).

The recently published book “Peacebuilding and the Arts” (Culbertson, Hawksley, Vincett, & Mitchell, 2020), another issue in the “Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies” series, gives a comprehensive overview of the current state of arts-based peacebuilding as a growing body of work. Following the overview of “Peacebuilding and the Arts” (Culbertson et al., 2020), the book also presents a more in-depth look at four different art forms in this context: visual arts, music, literature, film, theatre and dance. Overall, the authors agree with other scholars on the topic (Premaratna 2020; Wood 2015; Beausoleil and LeBaron 2013; Shank and Schirch 2008) that “[u]ntil recently the arts have been commonly overlooked or relegated to the periphery in discussions related to peacebuilding” (Culbertson et al., 2020, p. 13).

However, the arts have certainly been present in practice, used worldwide in “grassroots conflict approaches” (Beausoleil & LeBaron, 2013, p. 133), and as such being “prevalen[t] at ground level” (Premaratna, 2020, p. 16). In addition to grassroots approaches using the arts, there are “performance groups and programs focused on peace now burgeoning nationally [in the United States] and internationally” (Eddy, 2016a, p. 109), for example the European Graduate School’s program in Conflict Resolution and the Arts (Switzerland), the Conference on Intercultural Conflict and the Arts (Lima, Peru), and the conflict resolution programs at the University of Vancouver (Eddy, 2016a, p. 109). This disparity between the use of the arts in practice and their comparatively low representation in theoretical discourse mirrors the general tension PACS faces between its two-fold goal of both understanding “peace, conflict, violence, and war and, […] apply[ing] this knowledge to help create a more peaceful world” (Wood, 2016, v). Adding to this aspiration to be scientifically sound and practically relevant, arts-based peacebuilding also requires further interdisciplinarity to both become more established within PACS and also to eventually serve as an entryway for communicating the relevance of the body and its theorization in the field. As there is “very little solid theory, research, or evaluation of arts-based peacebuilding” (Shank & Schirch, 2008, p. 217) so far, Wood calls for more sustained effort in order to “bridge the gap and encourage cross-sectoral collaboration”(Wood, 2015, p. 4) between the professional arts community and peace and conflict scholars and practitioners in order to advance arts-based peacebuilding theory and practice. Similarly, Shank and Schirch argue for a “strategic arts-based peacebuilding” (Shank & Schirch, 2008) in their eponymous article in the journal “Peace & Change”. They also give a definition of “the arts”, a term that defies clear-cut categorization: In arts as “an expressive vehicle for communication” (Shank & Schirch, 2008, p. 218) they include both ephemeral and more classical art approaches, “embrac[ing] the wide variety of forms including visual arts, literary arts, performance arts, and movement arts” (ibid.). While a deeper theoretical investigation into the arts in PACS lies beyond the scope of this thesis, these examples of different arts applied in arts-based peacebuilding are sufficient for a preliminary localization of the human body in the field. Shank and Schirch summarize in the following paragraph how and for what the body enters through the arts into peacebuilding:

“Many art forms communicate through symbols, the nonverbal, the human body, the senses, and the experience and expression of emotion. Consequently, the more peacebuilders know about the physical body, senses, and emotions, and how to use them, the more effective they can be in peacebuilding work and the more receptive their bodies will be in conveying physical, emotional and sensual communication […]. Additionally, art helps reclaim the body (alienated by oppression, […and] violence) and is an important tool in liberating, transforming and revolutionizing individuals, relationships and societies” (Shank & Schirch, 2008, pp. 235–236) Few other contributions address the role of the human body in arts-based peacebuilding so directly. Premaratna’s work is exemplary for this implicit treatment of the human body: while using expressions such as “theatre to embody democracy and freedom” (Premaratna, 2019b, p. 18), “through embodying multivocality” (Premaratna, 2019b, p. 163) and “to embody […] ethnic unity by […] performing a people’s peace at an everyday level” (Premaratna, 2019a, p. 7), the actual corporeal dimensions of what it means to “Envision and Embody a People’s Peace” (Premaratna, 2019a) are left untouched. Even in explicit remarks on the role of the body, it seems that the work is based on a rather blurry, common sense understanding of the body when it reads that the “the body and emotion form the vessel that brings forth the dialogic” (Premaratna, 2019b, p. 218) between theatre group and audience. Yet this undifferentiated, if explicit at all, notion of the body seems to prevail in most of the literature on arts-based peacebuilding.

Wood states that “[c]ontemporary scholars are confirming what artists have known intuitively for centuries: that humans are not entirely rational beings” (Wood, 2015, p. 2). Along these lines, I conclude that practice-informed accounts of arts-based peacebuilding could benefit from a more explicit and differentiated reading of the human body informed by scholarly work to explain in detail how the arts tap into the body as site of conflict and resource for peace – and in turn make their experiences more scientifically nuanced to contribute to the theorization of the human body in PACS. From the state of the art(s) in peacebuilding into the wider theoretical discourse in the search for implicit bodies in PACS, I will turn to entryways for the body through the “embodied turn” in the social sciences in the following. The body entering through the embodied turn in the social sciences

There has been a so called “embodied turn” in the social sciences, “reflected in an emergent tradition of scholarly work” (Vacchelli, 2018, p. 173). As an interdisciplinary discipline, PACS draws on research from various other disciplines, such as political science, sociology, or psychology. The following exploration of the “embodied turn” in the social sciences is therefore focused on relevant iterations that have already made their way into PACS from these disciplines, or at least present predestined entryways for recognizing and theorizing the body in PACS.

Curating an overview of overarching themes of how the body has been addressed in the social sciences as they inform PACS is a challenging task given the vast literature that exists on the topic by this time. So much so, that the umbrella term body theory or even body studies is now being used to refer to this growing area of research that spans across different disciplines including (critical) psychology, sociology, gender studies, anthropology, human and cultural geography, and cultural studies – as for example the “Routledge Handbook of Body Studies” (Turner, 2012b) represents. In sociology in particular, a “sociology of the body” has emerged as a distinct area of study including an own journal devoted to the subject: Body & Society (Shilling, 2003, p. 1). At the same time, embodiment has become “a trendy buzzword” (Shusterman, 2012, p. 34) in today’s academic discourse, just as the “[u]sage of the adjective embodied has certainly increased significantly” (Frank, 2012, p. 390). But “this word too often functions […] as pro forma gesture[s] rather than significant engagement[s]” (ibid.).

Several authors (Allessandroni 2018; Blackman 2008; Rutherford and Borch 2008) date the emergence of social theories that “addressed the problem of the body” (Alessandroni, 2018, pp. 239–240) and “began to make the body more explicit” (Blackman, 2008, p. 35) approximately to the 1980s – bringing “to the foreground what had been lying dormant in the background” (ibid.). What is commonly recognized in the reviewed literature is that “[b]odies had always been present in social science, but […] were generally relegated to the background” (Frank, 2012, p. 389), “the body has all too frequently been implicit, rather than explicit” (Shilling, 2003, p. 8) and hence the body has for many years “only been an absent presence” (Blackman, 2008, p. 13) in social theory. Bryan Turner, one of the prominent scholars in body studies, claims that four social movements in particular that have helped push the body into the arena of social science: the “women’s movement”, the gay and lesbian movement, the disability movement and more recently the geriatric movements (around health, retirement, pensions and longevity) (Turner, 2012b, p. 6).

After these impact-related, temporal, and contextual cornerstones of the “embodied turn” in the social sciences, I will now roughly outline different approaches to theorizing the body and spotlight those perspectives particularly relevant to the case study of memorial site education in this thesis. In terms of gaining an overview of bodily perspectives in the social sciences, the works of Lisa Blackman “The body: The key concepts” (Blackman, 2008) and Chris Shilling “The body and social theory” (Shilling, 2003) have been especially informative. Both review at length and cluster the various perspectives on the human body and its role in society. Also the article “Varieties of embodiment in cognitive science” (Alessandroni, 2018) and its summary of embodiment perspectives outside of the cognitive sciences, as well as the article “Researching ‘experience’: Embodiment, methodology, process” (Brown, Cromby, Harper, Johnson, & Reavey, 2011) provide helpful schemata for a structured overview of the “embodied turn” in the social sciences. Brown et al. have come up with a categorization of four different emergent traditions of work in the “embodied turn” literature, even though they are not clearly demarcated. As the two categories that are most relevant to my research, I will further explain “social theories of the body” and “studies of embodied experience” (Brown et al., 2011, p. 494).

What Brown et al. see as the emergence of the first tradition in theorizing the body from a social point of view are the works of Michel Foucault from the 1970s (Foucault, 1984, original work published in 1976, 2020, original work published in 1975), where he exposed “the body as the key mechanism through which social order is reproduced” (Brown et al., 2011, p. 494) and coined the terms “anatomo-politics” and “biopolitics” as means through which power is mediated through the body (Vacchelli, 2018, p. 173). Alessandroni adds that in Foucault’s anti-essentialist philosophy, “the body is a social body and embodied behaviour is historical. The traditional distinction between the natural body and culture is abandoned” (Alessandroni, 2018, p. 240). Judith Butler agrees with him that “the body is a site where regimes of discourse and power inscribe themselves” (Alessandroni, 2018, p. 240; Butler, 1989), essentially understanding the body as constituted by discourse and power. Blackman and Shilling categorize this tradition of the “embodied turn” as social constructionism of “the ordered body” (Shilling, 2003, p. 206). Shilling evaluates the contribution social constructionist theories of the body have made to the “embodied turn” as “valuable epistemological break by distancing sociological thinking about embodiment from naturalistic, biologically reductionist analyses. The body, in short, is an important location on which society imprints itself and through which it is able to exercise influence and power.” (Shilling, 2003, p. 206)

Another important scholar in this tradition of the “embodied turn” is Pierre Bourdieu and his theory of practice: the notion of “habitus” (Bourdieu, 1977) as “the embodied dispositional property of classes or social groups” (Lechner & Frost, 2018a, p. 68). Foucault and Bourdieu as “theorists of practice” (Turner, 2012a, p. 63) explored how the body and the everyday world of practical activity are connected. In the search of the human body in PACS, theories of practice could be relayed to the works on everyday peace as embodied practice. In fact, recent publications have taken the concept of practice into the field of International Relations; for example the edited volumes on “Practice Theory and International Relations” (Lechner & Frost, 2018b) and “International Practices” (Adler & Pouliot, 2011), and here particularly the contribution “A practice theory of emotion for International Relations” (Mattern, 2011), where practice theory and the body explicitly meet: Mattern suggests that “the key to appreciating the […] ontology of practice lies in recognizing other forms of agency – especially those entailed in ‘the body’” (Mattern, 2011, p. 72). The keyword agency also rounds off this spotlight on the first tradition of the “embodied turn” of social constructionism. In providing theories on the premiss that “the body is a receptor, rather than a generator, of social meanings” (Shilling, 2003, p. 62), social constructionism has also been criticized for the lack of space it leaves for agency and subjectivity of bodies in society, as they are seen as “shaped, constrained and even invented by society” (ibid.). Alessandroni therefore fittingly labels this tradition: “The body as a field of socio/normative inscriptions” (Alessandroni, 2018, pp. 239–240).

The second categorization of work in the “embodied turn” as suggested by Brown et al. is “studies of embodied experience” (Brown et al., 2011, p. 494). This strand of thought largely arose in response to overly discursive readings of the human body. While these sought to move away from an essentialist/naturalistic/biologically reductionist epistemology of the body, they simultaneously detached the body from its own agency, resistance and lived experience. Therefore, this second tradition “recogniz[es] the interdependence of subjectivity with a physical body that is simultaneously enrolled within and constitutive of social processes” (Brown et al., 2011, p. 495). It shifts the location of inquiry into the experiencing body in society; thereby moving away from an outside look onto bodies and the top-down process of inscription through discourse and power. Philosophically, the turn to studying embodied experience is underpinned by the school of phenomenology founded by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), and advanced by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) who is referenced extensively in embodiment literature and “is something like the patron saint of the body” (Shusterman, 2008, p. 49) in Western philosophy. For phenomenologists, “the body is not, in the first instance, a thing that we know and experience but rather the very nexus of our experience and our way of being-in-the-world. We belong to the world, qua bodies, and we experience it in an embodied way” (Crossley, 2012, p. 142). What phenomenological approaches contributed to the “embodied turn” in the social sciences is therefore the re-establishment of the body as – at least a – “basis for human agency and the lived experience of social actors” (Shilling, 2003, p. 206). Critiques of the tradition that studies embodied experience, and of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology in particular, have pointed out that “descriptions of the anonymous body are tacitly male and white, although they present themselves as universal and general” (Murphy, 2009, p. 197) – a claim voiced mainly by feminist and critical race theorists. While agreeing with this critique, Murphy adds that Merleau-Ponty’s works have nonetheless been drawn from widely in “giving voice to gender- and race-specific experiences” (ibid.). As one of the greatest contributions of his work, Murphy poses the role of habit in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological approach and “the way in which our largely unconscious, habitual bodily mannerisms are constituted through historically and culturally specific practices and institutions that are deeply racialized” (Murphy, 2009, pp. 205–206). Therefore, the strength of utilizing Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology in socio-political analysis is that it can “account for the ways in which racism does much of its damage at the pre-reflective, unconscious level” (ibid.).

Now, the two outlined broad traditions in the “embodied turn” in the social sciences – social constructionism and phenomenological approaches to embodied experience – merely present a selection of prominent works that serve to build the theoretical foundations for the case study in this thesis. Whereas one could come to think the two research traditions oppose each other, I see them as complementing each other. Together they can serve to integrate different coordinates of the multidimensional spectrum that is the human body in social theory. In conclusion, I find the notion of a “somatic society” helpful that Turner developed: “the somatic society as a social system in which the body, as simultaneously constraint and resistance, is the principal field of political and cultural activity” (Turner, 2000, p. 12). In bringing together perspectives of socio-political shaping of bodies as well as embodied agency and the body as relational, multiple field, one can recognize the social ontology of bodies as also suggested by Laura Wilcox in “Bodied of Violence” (Wilcox, 2015) and Tarja Väyrynen in “Corporeal Peacebuilding” (Väyrynen, 2019).

In the introduction to the “embodied turn”, I stated that bodies have always been present in social theories, albeit in implicit ways – just like in Peace and Conflict Studies: starting with the direct violence inflicted on physical human bodies, but then without continuing to analyse its wider implications and considering the theorization on the body complete. The works that were reviewed in the chapter on explicit bodies in PACS have recognized that the body has been a silent connotation in the academic field, and built their developments of a PACS that incorporates bodies on research from the social sciences and its “embodied turn”. “The embodied turn” has thus served as entryway for the human body into PACS through providing theoretical foundations from the wider field of social science. As the last stage in the search for the body in PACS, I will briefly highlight another two important entryways through which the human body has already – mostly implicitly – entered into the discipline: feminist and postcolonial perspectives in peace and conflict research. The body entering through feminist peace research

To realize that the body has been missing from most of the social sciences for a long time is not differentiated enough to capture the various ways in which bodies have been made absent. One needs to ask “w hose body has been an absent presence in sociology?” (WITZ, 2000, p. 19), and feminist scholars in PACS will answer: the gendered one. I dedicate a separate section to the ways the body enters PACS through feminist perspectives in peace research because, similarly as – but more so than – arts-based peacebuilding, it is an increasingly recognized strand of scholarship within PACS. At the same time, feminist contributions have of course already played a pivotal part in the emergence of the “embodied turn” as reviewed above. One might have noticed the “absent presence” of feminist works in the predominantly male gaze through which I have presented the different perspectives of the “embodied turn”, with a few exceptions (Blackman, 2008; Butler, 2011). Lauren Wilcox gets to the heart of the matter:

“While much scholarship across the social sciences […] takes Foucault as a founding father of the investigations of the body in […] society in recent decades, feminists have developed an independent analysis of the ‘politics of the body’, albeit one that finds Foucauldian concepts of productive power, biopolitics, and discourse to be useful” (Wilcox, 2015, p. 34).

The purpose of this section is not to review the literature on feminist contributions in PACS and present an overview of its different stances; it is to make explicit that with feminist perspectives in PACS comes the body, too; even if implicit, quiet and hidden in light of the dominant theories that derive from situating PACS as a subfield of IR. The human body as immanent to feminist peace research only becomes visible through genuine engagement, and not with the “token acknowledgement by critical scholars” it frequently receives (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 127). And while there is a solid and growing body of feminist work in peace studies, McLeod and O’Reilly claim that “feminist perspectives are [still] frequently missing and marginalised from critical accounts of peace” (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 127).

Whereas Foucault counts as the “founding father” of theorizing the body and the body is increasingly paid attention to in the social sciences, “in feminist scholarship the body and embodiment theory have always been important” (Frerks, 2014, p. 7). In fact, feminist theories emerged on the very ground of the experience of “subordination, marginalization and oppression of female bodies” (Blackman, 2008, p. 73). “The women’s movement and the quest for equality” (Turner, 2012b, p. 6) – as Bryan Turner puts it – and feminist literature have actually made “the major contribution to the analysis of body and embodiment” (ibid.). Alessandroni also acknowledges the contribution that feminist perspectives have made to the “embodied turn” by assigning a whole category in his overview on embodiment scholarship to “[t]he body as gendered body” (Alessandroni, 2018, pp. 239–240). In line with Judith Butler’s work on gender (Butler, 2011), feminist epistemology points out that bodies are always gendered bodies. Any take on embodiment therefore needs to recognize how bodies are rendered different, instead of assuming an universal “body” – which tends to be “tacitly male and white” (Murphy, 2009, p. 197). Feminist scholars bring these epistemological refinements to embodiment into PACS, making “gendered bodies and corporeality central to critical” PACS (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 141). McLeod and O’Reilly carved out three key contributions that feminist “intervention into critical PCS achieves” (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 129) in their article “Critical peace and conflict studies: feminist interventions” (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019). Particularly relevant here are the following:

“Feminist analysis encourages a nuanced sensory perception of peace and conflict, following several key feminist insights about the significance of the personal, of embodiment, and of experience. [Furthermore,…] [e]fforts to decolonise the modes of knowledge production within P[A]CS cannot be fully realised without incorporating a feminist critique of concepts such as ‘the local’ and ‘the everyday’” (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 129).

Consequently, feminism has much to offer to the search – and reclamation – of the body in PACS through its understanding of spaces between conflict and peace as lived, embodied experience (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 140). Yet it is to say that “feminist theories” are diverse, ranging from essentialist takes on peaceful “female nature” to gender as a discursive practice (Weber, 2010). This spectrum is somewhat congruent to the two traditions of the “embodied turn” that I reviewed: ranging from phenomenological approaches of studying embodied experience to social constructionist analysis where the body is produced by power and discourse. It is the multidimensional space in between those far ends of the spectra of feminism, or the “embodied turn”, respectively, where the “somatic society” is located: where the body comes to be understood as the “field of political and cultural activity” (Turner, 2000, p. 12) and where “[fe]minist peace is multiple” (Wibben et al., 2019, p. 14).

Accordingly, there is also a considerably diverse body of scholarly work in PACS that can be labelled as somewhat “feminist”, hence rather randomly picked for example “Gender and Conflict” (Frerks, 2014), many articles in “The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace” (Young, N., 2010), “Gender, Peace and Security” (Gizelis and Olsson 2016) or the soon to be published “Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research” (Väyrynen, Parashar, & Féron, forthcoming). Overall, what has made it into the mainstream of the field seems to be “gender policies” or gender as a state-of-the-art category for conflict analysis, especially connected to the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security from 2000 (Gizelis & Olsson, 2016): often as the “token acknowledgement” (McLeod & O’Reilly, 2019, p. 127) of feminist perspectives. The spectrum of feminism beyond “women and peace” also accommodates contemporary intersectional feminisms, looking at how various other forms of oppression intersect. Intersectional feminisms in PACS “put gender justice at the center of peaceful societies” (Wibben & Donahoe, 2020) and are “or at least should be – also queer” (Wibben et al., 2019, p. 2).

Overall, what I find to be the most accessible entryway for the human body is a distinct tradition of feminist peace research as proposed by Wibben, Väyrynen, Danahoe and other members of the Feminist Peace Research Network (FPRN) (Väyrynen et al., forthcoming; Wibben et al., 2019). Such a feminist peace research is described as transdisciplinary, intersectional, normative, and transnational. Although drawing from PACS (in and outside of IR), “it also differs […] in terms of research scope and research design” (Wibben et al., 2019, p. 1) as it recognizes the mundane, relational and corporeal dimensions of the war-peace continuum beyond “spectacular instances of violence” (Wibben & Donahoe, 2020). Ultimately, the chapter on feminist peace research in “The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace” (Richmond & Visoka, 2020), represents “one piece in the larger puzzle of making feminist contributions to peace and conflict research visible (again)” (Wibben & Donahoe, 2020) – and one piece in the larger puzzle of making the body in PACS “explicit (again)”. The body entering through postcolonial and decolonial critique

Now, the last realm I found to be implicitly bringing the body into PACS is postcolonial and decolonial critique. While postcolonial and decolonial perspectives do not seem to have been as formative to the “embodied turn” as feminist ones in terms of explicit mentions in the literature, they certainly have contributed independent theorizations of the body to the consciousness shift in academia to move beyond the supremacy of the mind over the body. Similar to the section on feminist peace research, the purpose here is not to give a detailed overview of postcolonial theory and decoloniality, but to place the emphasis specifically on how they (could) contribute to the theorization of the human body in PACS and the case study of memorial site education.

To start with, it is necessary to shortly contextualize the terminology I use to describe this entryway for the body into PACS: postcolonialism and decoloniality, both being diverse and long-standing traditions of thought and praxis. Bhambra describes postcolonialism as an intellectual movement that consolidated around the works of Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak (Bhambra, 2014, p. 115). Today, postcolonialism is an overarching term for many perspectives and approaches across different disciplines from literary studies to political science that critically deal with colonialism and its consequences “then” and “now”; the “post” in postcolonial being a temporal marker and not to say that colonial continuities were “over”. Postcolonial studies and postcolonial theory emerged as academic fields of their own right. In contrast, decoloniality is not so much an intellectual and academic movement as it has a “herstory, and praxis of more than 500 years. From its beginnings in the Americas, decoloniality has been a component part of (trans)local struggles, movements, and actions to resist and refuse the legacies and ongoing relations and patterns of […] colonialism” (Mignolo & Walsh, 2018, p. 16).

Therefore, my usage of the two terms postcolonialism and decoloniality is to express the different contexts out of which they emerged and the different implications they carry in terms of their fields of influence between academia and praxis; and at the same time, I count them together as one entryway for the body into PACS as they unite in the goal to understand, deconstruct and transcend the “colonial” – and the ways it has shaped bodies and “the colonial body as a political entity” (Rao & Pierce, 2001, p. 161). That the body plays an important role in postcolonial studies is apparent in the number of articles that explicitly carry the body together with postcolonial in their title (Andrés-Cuevas, 2014; Baker, 2013; Basnet, 2019; Coly, 2015; Kowal, Radin, & Reardon, 2013; Moni, 2014). A more in-depth examination of the body in postcolonial studies can for example be found in “Bodies and voices: The force-field of representation and discourse in colonial and postcolonial studies” (Rutherford & Borch, 2008). The “debates about the colonized subject, colonization of the body and the mind, representations of the Other, [and] subaltern agency” (Rutherford & Borch, 2008, xix) in “Bodies and voices” point out the constitutive problem of colonial discourse: “the misrepresentation of ‘othered’ bodies deprived of voice” (Rutherford & Borch, 2008, xxvi). While several authors recognize that ”[c]olonialism was and is an inherently corporeal enterprise” (Boddy, 2011, p. 119), they negotiate the role of the body in postcolonial perspectives differently (Boddy, 2011; Rao & Pierce, 2001; Rutherford & Borch, 2008; Savarese, 2010). Hence, postcolonial perspectives on “the body” also resonate with a relational and multiple ontology of bod ies as it weaves through the search for implicit and explicit bodies in PACS. As Rutherford and Borch state: considerations “of ‘the body’, […] in this context must take the plural form” (Rutherford & Borch, 2008, xxi).


1 A detailed definition of concentration camps will be given in chapter 3.

2 I use “Holocaust” as it is the most established term in international discourse. Simultaneously, I recognize that the etymology of the term Holocaust is problematic (derived from the biblical word for burnt offerings). Inner-Jewish discourses therefore mainly use the term Shoah (translating as catastrophe in Hebrew) Kübler (2014, pp. 31–34). I use the term Holocaust in accordance with the Council of Europe, in its wider signification of referring to the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the Jews and Sinti and Roma as well as other victim groups, such as “people with disabilities – homosexuals – Jehovah’s witnesses – resistance members and political opponents – Slavs – Poles – asocials” (Mayran and Schlagdenhauffen, 2013, p. 3)

3 “The body” here is not bound to those born in Germany or descending from those who lived through the Holocaust and the Second World War but seeks to be inclusive of the different communities of memory and, as far as possible, any potential visitor at memorial sites in Germany today.

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The Body in Memorial Site Education. Contributions of Politicized Somatics to Memorial Site Education in Germany
Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg
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Gedenkstättenpädagogik, memorial sites, memorial culture, memory politics, somatics, politicized somatics, embodiment, memorial site education
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Franka Rauch (Author), 2020, The Body in Memorial Site Education. Contributions of Politicized Somatics to Memorial Site Education in Germany, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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