CONF Nov 14, 2005

Pain and Death (Canberra, 8-10 Dec 05)

Carolyn Strange


Politics, Aesthetics and Legalities
a conference and associated exhibits and performances

Thursday 8 - Saturday 10 December 2005

The Centre for Cross-Cultural Research
Old Canberra House
Australian National University
T: 61+2+61252434 or 6125 0044

The war on terror and its representations have ignited interest in pain
and death across a wide range of disciplines as well as in the visual
arts, music, poetry, dance and theatre. This conference brings together
scholars, artists and activists to explore the politics, legalities and
representation of state sanctioned violence.

Audience disciplines and media: criminology, political science, law,
history, literature, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies,
psychology, linguistics, journalism and philosophy. Visual arts, music,
poetry, dance, and theatre.

Associated with the conference is a public lecture by the Nigerian-born
human rights activist Dr. Owens Wiwa, brother of writer and activist Ken
Saro-Wiwa, on the tenth anniversary of Saro-Wiwa's execution.


Thursday 8 December

8:00–9:00am Registration and coffee (Old Canberra House Foyer)
9:00–9:15 Welcome – Matilda House (to be confirmed) (Conference Room)
9:15–9:30 Orientation – Carolyn Strange, Convenor
9:30–10:00 Jonathan Lamb, Sterne, Sebald and Siege Architecture
10:00–10:30 Discussion

10:30–11:00 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)

Session 1: Gender and/in justice

Maria-Suzette Fernandes-Dias – In the Name of Honour: Viewing Honour
Crimes beyond the Cultural and Gendered Divide

Lorenza Melalluci – Mirror Images? Repatriation/ rehabilitation and

Lynn Savery and Sarina Lirosi – Regarding the Pain of Women (Conference Room)

Session 2: Interrogating war

Betty Snowden – Heroicism in pain and death: Exposing the illusion

Hans Pols – The Psychology of War, Violence and Death

12:30–1:30 Lunch (provided in Courtyard)

Session 3: Testimonies of pain & death Peter Read, Translations from terror

Jeni Allenby, Thematic narratives of political protest, pain and death
within contemporary Palestinian cultural expression (Conference Room)

Session 4: Community responses to state violence

Jennifer Wood, Facing the ‘Distant Reality’ of Non-violent Policing in
Argentina: A Normative Agenda

Peter Reddy, Putting the Peace back into Peacekeeping

Monique Marks, New identities, old behaviours: Violent regressions and the
South African police (Theatrette)

3:00–3:30 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)

Session 5: Conceptualising genocide

Subhash Jaireth, Waiting for Stalin not Godot: Terrorism and the
Re-membering and Dis-membering of Pain

Ann Curthoys and John Docker, Genocide, Humanity, and World History
(Conference Room)

Javier Moscoso, The political uses of pain and violence: Terrorism in
Spain (Conference Room)

5:15–5:45 Discussion
Dinner break (participants make their own arrangements)

7:30–9:00 Public Lecture by Owens Wiwa and music & dance performance, The
Street Theatre, Corner of Childers Street and University Avenue, Canberra

Opening by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope
Dr Owens Wiwa – Public lecture
Tuza Afutu and Kukua perform Salaka

Friday 9 December

8:30–9:00am Registration and coffee (Old Canberra House Foyer)
9:00–9:30 Joanna Bourke, Sexed Violence (Conference Room)
9:30–10:00 Discussion

10:00–10:30 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)

Session 6: Figuring captivity and violence

Alan Krell, Sharp Sight: Looking through Barbed Wire

Andrew Watts, Death, Bureaucracy and Deferred Responsibility

Fiona Jenkins, Silencing desperate claims: On the denial of political
voice to the outlaws of our times (Conference Room)

Session 7: Theatres of Violence and questions of identity

Debjani Ganguly, 100 Days in Rwanda: Choreographed Killings in Image, Text
and Real Time

Shea Coulson, Ugliness and Disgust: Representations of Authority and
Violence in Kafka’s In the Penal Colony

Terri-ann White, Arriving: Reflections on Australia's Detention Policies

12:00–1:00pm Lunch (Courtyard)

Session 8: Re-presenting and witnessing execution

Helen Ennis, Triumphal Portraits and Colonial Narratives: Post-mortem

Rosanne Kennedy, The Haunting of Edith Thompson: Sentimentality,
Abjection, Innocence

Rosemary Hollow, What’s in a name? Memorialization, punishment, and
perpetrators of crime (Conference Room)

Session 9: Sovereignty, pain and death

Daniel Loick, Imagining a World without Sovereignty: Theoretical
Approaches to Contest a Modern Concept

Michael McKinley, The American Way of War: Convergent Structures of Folly,
Deceit and Punishment

Barbara Ann Hocking, Projections from To Kill a Mockingbird: Fiction,
History and the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY)

2:30–3:00 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)
3:00–4:00 Performance 1. Dance performance, Lycia Trouton and Amanda
4:15–4:45 Betty Churcher, WWII artists confront the horrors of war
(Conference Room or Theatrette)
4:45–5:15 Discussion
5:15–6:00 Wine and cheese (Foyer or Courtyard)

Saturday 10 December

8:30–9:00am Registration and Coffee (Old Canberra House Foyer)
9:00–9:30 Hilary Charlesworth, Legal Rationalizations of Torture
(Conference Room)
9:30–10:00 Discussion
10:00–10:30 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)

Session 10: Audiences for violence
Kit Messham-Muir, Darkness: The Politics and Aesthetics of Pain and Death
at Contemporary Holocaust Museums

Vera Mackie, “The bodies are gone. Only the shoes remain” (Conference Room)

Session 11: Finding a voice for violence

David Tait, State-sanctioned child-beating: memories of corporal
punishment at school

Sylvia Kleinert, Dealing with death: Indigenous Representations of
settler-colonial violence

Adam Chapman, Re-Living the Liberation of Laos: Death and Music Karaoke

12:00–1:00pm Lunch (Courtyard)

1:00–1:30 Mark Finnane, Languages of Abolition (Conference Room)
1:30–2:00 Discussion
2:00–2:30 Coffee and art gallery (Foyer and Seminar Room Gallery)
2:30–3:30 Performance 2. Narrabundah Players, Malice in Blunderland: A
Political Satire, OCH

3:45–4:15 Final Plenary (Conference Room)
4:15–4:45 Discussion
4:45–5:00 Closing and Thanks
5:00–6:00 Wine and hors-d’oeuvres (Foyer and Courtyard)

To register online go to:

Dr Carolyn Strange
Centre for Cross-Cultural Research
Australian National University
Visit the website at

CONF: Pain and Death (Canberra, 8-10 Dec 05). In:, Nov 14, 2005 (accessed May 21, 2024), <>.