UCD School of Sociology Seminar Series 2018-2019

Semester Two


Thursday 24 January

Dr. Elisa Bellotti - University of Manchester

'Counterfeit alcohol distribution: A criminological script network analysis'


This paper analyses a series of subsequent and connected investigations by a domestic European regulator on the network of distribution of counterfeit alcohol across two jurisdictions. The analysis mixes script analysis, a narrative framework for enhancing the understanding of how crimes unfold and are organized, with multi-node multi-link social network analysis, to observe the social structure in which crime scripts take place. We focus our attention on the key players that occupy strategic positions within the network of the crime commission process, from where they overview and control the various phases (scenes) and perform brokerage activities across the scenes, and on strategies of concealment of illicit products beyond the facade of legitimate business. Our findings indicate that actors in charge of managing the proceeds of the criminal activity are also the ones better positioned to monitor the entire process. The overall structure of the criminal network shows a good level of resilience and efficiency, although actors do not adopt common traits of a criminal lifestyle that facilitate secrecy and covertness. We believe that, by shifting the analysis from the nature of the group organization to the network of links between all the aspects of a crime commission process, the organizational structure and its weakest links
become more detectable, easier to compare across proto- and meta-scripts, and ultimately more prone to situational preventive measures.

I'm a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Manchester. I study social networks and how they shape and are shaped by our social environment. Topics I commonly investigate are gender, science, criminal networks, personal relationships, mixed methods. Previously I also studied consumption, and I am developing an interest in health networks.
I believe that by looking at social networks, at whom we interact with and how these relationship influence us, we can better understand how societies work and cultures emerge. I adopt the stance of relational sociology and I am interested in how it merges with other mainstream sociological theories. I strongly advocate the use of a variety of qualitative and quantitative tools that can be mixed to adjust the lenses through which we observe and explain the social world.


Wednesday 6 February

Carol Kidron - Haifa University

'The “Perfect Failure” of The Human Right to Genocide Memorialization in Cambodia: Productive Global-Local Friction or “Bone Business”?'

This lecture will take place in the Humanities Institute


Public memorialization of genocide has been deemed essential for post-conflict restorative justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding. The global dissemination of genocide memorialization has emerged as the new pillar of human rights governance with a supra-international institutional architecture of governance working with NGOs and governments to integrate memorialization into projects of transitional justice. The scholarship calls for the localization of memorial sites in accordance with culturally particular commemorative practices, and collaboration with local actors, however it fails to outline if and how this recommendation is implemented while local responses and attendance of these sites remains undocumented. Asserting that globalization has engendered a cosmopolitan universal model of genocide memory, memory studies, culture studies, and HR studies have yet to critically question the viability of an internationally imposed collective memory that does not emerge from within particular local socio-cultural milieus. Moreover, the scholarship has yet to examine patron-client relations between international actors and local constituencies and the practices that impose/promote localization of global models of memorialization. International memory entrepreneurs and the nation-state are often portrayed as sole protagonists in a globalized landscape of memory decontextualized from everyday life and meaning worlds. We know little of the experiences of local actors other than their apparent capitulation to mobilization or their resistance to hegemonic narratives. Integrating insights from the anthropology of HR with anthropology of memory, an ethnographic study of small scale communal commemoration in Cambodia aims to determine whether communal non-monumental sites of genocide memorialization in Cambodia are localized/hybridized in accordance with cultural-particular forms of remembrance and whether friction between the global and local actors creatively constitute new localized traditions (in keeping with Levi and Sznaider's concept of "cosmopolitan memory"), promote mutually progressive glocal encounters (in keeping with Tsing's concept of "productive friction") or -  impose failed translations. Drawing on participant-observation at communal sites of genocide memory and ethnographic interviews with villagers, monks, and NGO stakeholders, I longitudinally trace (over a 5-year period) the localization of Euro-Western genocide commemoration in the Cambodian landscape. Hybrid Khmer-Western communal memorials that display victim remains and promote genocide pedagogy signify elite capitulation to Western cosmopolitan memory and reap the rewards of atrocity tourism. Despite the façade of successful localization, my data point to elite and non-elite resistance to cosmologically dangerous and/or semiotically meaningless commemorative practice and to the failure of hybrid memorialization. A close reading of Cambodian Buddhist conceptualizations of memory, commemoration, and relations between living and dead reveals how and why façades of localization culturally work to sustain simulacra of “engaged universals,” creating a “perfect failure” of global-local translation. My findings problematize the globalization of a Holocaust model of commemoration and the “human right and duty to remember” as a pillar of global genocide pedagogy in today’s postconflict memoryscapes. I consider implications for understandings of intercultural friction and the “productive dynamism” of global-local encounters while deconstructing contemporary anthropological frames that occlude critique of global-local engagement.Data pertaining to ‘positive global-local friction’ and grassroots hybridization contributes to HR policy making and culturally competent global memorialization. Re-conceptualizing memory itself, data on ‘lived’ local-global friction captures the way selective forgetting is shaped not only by the politics of memory but also informed by culturally particular religious, spiritual and cosmological meaning worlds that may be incongruent with Euro-Western conceptions of remembrance.  

Carol A. Kidron is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel. Kidron has undertaken comparative ethnographic work with Holocaust descendants in Israel and children of Cambodian genocide survivors in Cambodia and Canada. She has focused on the interface between private and public Holocaust and Genocide memory work in Israel, Canada and Cambodia, aiming primarily to re-conceptualize trauma descendant lived memory of difficult pasts as silent intersubjective embodied and emotive presence. Kidron has examined ways in which universalizing epistemological frames (psychological illness construct of PTSD, Genocide Studies, Culture Studies (trauma theory) Human Rights and the more recent moral anthropology) discursively elide the private and familial experience of presence while facilitating the public appropriation and translation of private memory into either public niches of domesticated representation of lived memory or ‘dead’ forms of politicized absence. Beyond her interest in personal and collective Holocaust and Genocide commemoration, Kidron's more recent research examines the glocalization of discourses on justice and reconciliation, victimhood, and memory in post-conflict societies. Her present field work in Cambodia explores processes of localization and friction in local-global encounters and the multi-layered responses to hegemonically imposed memorialization, organic forms of genocide commemoration and atrocity tourism. Kidron’s publications include: "Surviving a Distant Past" (Ethos 2003), “Toward an Ethnography of Silence: The Lived Presence of the Past in the Everyday Life of Holocaust Trauma Survivors and Their Descendants in Israel” (Current Anthropology 2009), "Embracing the Lived Memory of Genocide" (American Ethnologist, 2010), “Alterity and the Particular Limits of Universalism: Comparing Jewish-Israeli Holocaust and Canadian-Cambodian Genocide Legacies” (Current Anthropology, 2012) and "Being There Together: Dark Family Tourism and the Emotive Experience of Co-presence in the Holocaust Past" (Annals of Tourism Research 2013) "Survivor-family memory-work at Sites of Holocaust Remembrance: Institutional enlistment or familial agency? (History & Memory 2015) and Resurrecting Dis-continued Bonds: A Comparative Study of Israeli Holocaust and Cambodian Genocide Trauma Descendant Relations with the Genocide Dead (Ethos 2018). Global Mental Health and Idioms of Distress: The Paradox of Culture-Sensitive Pathologization of Distress in Cambodia (Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 2018). The “Perfect Failure” of Communal Genocide Commemoration in Cambodia: Productive Friction or “Bone Business”? (Current Anthropology in press).


Thursday 21 February

Priyamvada Gopal - University of Cambridge


Monday 25 February 

Sasha Huber

'Artistic Renegotiations of Archive, Memory & Place'

This lecture will take place in the Humanities Institute


Sasha Huber will be speaking about a selection of art projects relating to her long-term artistic research project which has evolved out of artistic engagement with the cultural activist campaign Demounting Louis Agassiz, whose aim has been to advocate for the renaming of Agassizhorn in the Swiss Alps to Rentyhorn, in honor of the Congolese-born enslaved man Renty and of those who met similar fates. Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) is celebrated in the history of science as an important glaciologist who was one of the discoverers of ice age theory. But, he also was one of the most influential proponents of 'scientific racism’ in his adoptive country, the United States of America from 1846. Agassiz studied and photographed enslaved Africans in the places of their suffering and argued that they were innately inferior. He advocated strict racial segregation, ethnic cleansing, and government measures to prevent the birth of interracial children whom he considered unnatural.


Sasha Huber is a visual artist of Swiss-Haitian heritage, born in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1975. She lives and works in Helsinki (Finland) since 2002. Huber's work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to colonial residue left in different landscapes. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice thatencompasses video, photography, collaborations with researchers, and performance-based interventions.Although Huber works primarily in lens-based formats, she has also claimed the compressed-air staple gun,aware of its symbolic significance as a weapon, while offering the potential to renego tiate unequal power dynamics. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the "Demounting Louis Agassiz" campaign, aiming at dismantling the glaciologist's lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. Huber has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the group exhibition Frontiers Reimagined (Collateral Event,56th la Biennale di Venezia in 2015), the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, and in the 29th Biennale of Sao Paulo in 2010. She holds an MAfrom the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Presently Huber is undertaking practice-basedPhD studies at the Department of Art and Media at the Zurich University of the Arts. Huber also works in a creative partnership with artist Petri Saarikko and together they have been invited to artist residencies around the world. Alongside her practice, Huber has edited the book Rentyhorn (2010) and was co-editor (with Maria P.T.Machado) of (T)races of Louis Agassiz: Photography, Body and Science, Yesterday and Today (2010) on theoccasion of the 29th Biennale of Sao Paulo (Brazil).


Thursday 28 February 

Caroline Knowles - Goldsmiths, University of London



Thursday 8 March

Hartmut Rosa -Jena University




Thursday 28 March

Adriana Kemp - Tel Aviv University

'Children of ambivalence- Frontline urban agents and migrant children in times of legal precarity'


In her seminal work on “Arendt’s children” (2009), Jacqueline Bhabha argues that the crucial issue with children’s statelessness and lack of legal status is not their invisibility, as usually claimed, but the institutional ambivalence towards their “universality” as children and their
“particularity” as migrants. Bhabha’s argument shines the spotlight on two trends taking place in the current context of harshened migration policies: First, the growing number of migrant and refugee children growing up in uncertain and liminal legal statuses worldwide. Second, the increasing delegation of national roles to frontline actors working at the urban grey zones of migrants’ control and incorporation. While the former has elicited a growing scholarship on migrant children’s legal liminality as a national politics of precarity and a form of disrupted assimilation, the latter calls attention to the interaction between frontline actors’ moral evaluations, professional missions and institutional resources and national migration policies. The presentation draws on original qualitative research that includes in-depth interviews with a wide variety of frontline actors and migrant youth and their parents in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. I offer a systematic analysis of patterned variations in migrant children incorporation processes across socio-legal configurations (undocumented, temporary protection, naturalized, mixed-status families); professional missions (service and regulatory); demographic and political setting in which frontline actors operate in each city. Preliminary findings suggest that inter-professional variation is less prominent than inter-city variation. In cosmopolitan oriented but ethno-nationally homogeneous Tel Aviv, actors in the educational and welfare services maneuver ambivalence by emphasizing the universal principle of status blindness albeit in segregated educational and welfare categorical frameworks. Conversely, in ethno-religious oriented but ethno-nationally heterogeneous Jerusalem we find an overall tendency among frontline actors to integrate migrant children in existing educational and welfare frameworks based on their particularity as migrants. My presentation aims to contribute to current scholarship by highlighting the modes wherein the politics of institutional ambivalence towards migrant children in precarious socio-legal status is locally mediated through “urban incorporation regimes”, a concept I use to point at the mix of demographics, resources, political orientation but also previous legacy in dealing with “unclassifiable others.”

Adriana Kemp is the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University and the co-founder of the M.A. Program on Organizations and Social Change and the M.A. Program on Global Migration and Policy, both at TAU. Her research focus on two main areas: intersections between labour and forced migration, citizenship and civil society, and scholarship on the re-scaling of politics and urban governance. She has published over thirty refereed articles on these topics in journals like International Migration Review, Gender and Society, Political Geography, IJURR, Law and Society Review, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Social Problems, Urban Studies, and Environment and Planning A among others. She is the author of numerous book chapters, the co-editor of two collective volumes and the co-author of a book on Migrants and Workers: the political economy of labour migration in Israel. Her latest research titled “Do papers matter?” explores the impact of legal liminality both as a form of personhood and governmentality on the life-course, ways of belonging and legal consciousness of migrant children (funded by the Israeli National Science Foundation). Kemp is a member of the founding committee of EuroMed at IMISCOE, the network bringing together scholars on migration circuits and regional systems at the North and South of the Mediterranean and she has worked as a consultant for the OECD, among others. Her many civic activities include serving as the chair-woman of ACRI, the largest HR NGO in Israel in 2010-2014.


Thursday 4 April

Julie Brownlie - University Of Edinburgh



Thursday 11 April

Britta Jung - UCD

'Framing Fortress Europe: A Literary Intervention'


While mobility has always been part of human activity and can be traced back to the dispersing of archaic and modern humans across the continents some two million years ago, the advent of the modern nation-state in the 18th and 19th century and the rise of nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th century have transformed the migration process and subjected migratory flows to substantial regulation. As a result, the (migrant) Other has increasingly been framed as a threat to national security and social harmony, either in moral, social or political; or indeed in ethnic, racial or religious terms. Despite a general embrace of liberal values and the adoption of a legally binding UN-convention regarding the elimination of racial discrimination in 1969, the idea of institutionally targeting specific immigrant groups to avoid a so-called ‘race suicide’ maintains its populist appeal and resurfaces in times of crisis to this day.
In the aftermath of 9/11 – and more recently terrorist attacks in European capitals such as Paris, London, Berlin and Madrid – on the one hand, and the financial crisis and the global refugee crisis on the other hand, hitherto celebrated visions of multi-, inter- and transculturalism have become less optimistic and more guarded in recent years. Mainstream parties are divided on how to respond to the marked shift in public discourse, which is echoed in the rise nationalist movements and right-wing populist parties. After decades of publicly and diplomatically pursuing policies of both integration and inclusion vis-à-vis migrant communities, local and national government policies in Europe seem to increasingly enable nationalist discourses by banning and stigmatising migrants from the Middle East and Africa as a deviant Other. Ostensibly established (trans)national spaces, borders and boundaries are being once again put up for reconsideration, with border controls within the Schengen-Area being temporarily reintroduced and an increasing fortification of the EU’s external borders. This talk seeks to explore the way literary works engage with the Fortress Europe in its newest, post-war iteration. After all, literary works are not only representations of specific social worlds, but – more often than not – conjure up possible, idealised and/or alternative worlds which may affect the extra-literary world. They are – or can be – an important intervention.

Britta C. Jung is an IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UCD Humanities Institute. Her project ‘Contested Identities. A Comparative Study of the Migrant Experience in Contemporary German, Dutch and Irish Literature’ addresses – among other things – the urgent need to critically (re)examine the terms of the migration debate, including collective and national identity, belonging, displacement and transnationalism. Additionally, Dr Jung is currently conducting a comprehensive study on behalf of the Higher Education Authority and Léargas regarding the attitudes toward and learning experience of foreign languages in the context of Erasmus+ in Ireland.
Dr Jung’s PhD was jointly awarded by the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and the University of Limerick in November 2015. She has published extensively in the areas of German Holocaust Studies and Youth Literature. Her German-language monograph on the transnational turn of the German memory discourse was published by Vandenhoek & Ruprecht in October 2018 and a coedited volume on the literary representation of the Central and Eastern European borderlands is due for publication in summer 2019.


Thursday 18 April

Chamindra Weedawardhana - Independent Researcher


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