Political Science Comparative Politics Job Candidate – Osman Balkan

Tues, Oct. 29, 3:00PM, Palmer 128

“Martyrs and Infidels: Corpse Politics in the Middle East”

In recent years many countries have faced dilemmas about what to do with the bodily remains
of individuals that commit violent acts within their borders. Across the Middle East and Europe,
a series of burial controversies have emerged in the aftermath of political violence and
terrorism. This talk will analyze the political afterlives of exceptional corpses through two case
studies: first, Turkey’s “Cemetery of Traitors” and its treatment of Kurdish dead, and second,
the burial and memorialization of the victims and perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in
France. I argue that determining where and how dead bodies are buried (or otherwise disposed
of and remembered) is a critical means through which states and other political actors
demarcate and challenge the boundaries of national, political, religious, and moral
communities.

Posted by jpauls@coloradocollege.edu for the October 29, 2019 digest.

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