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Perpetrator Studies Network


Workshop Series: Teaching about Perpetrators

There is a growing consensus that presenting perpetrators of mass crimes as monsters or psychopaths is ultimately counterproductive, as it obscures the social, political, historical, and cultural mechanisms that enable them and inhibits an understanding of their continued relevance for today. Yet, the representation and reception of perpetrators and, more importantly, the pedagogical approaches to these figures in contemporary culture are still largely characterized by a distancing amalgamation of sensationalism on the one hand and moralistic condemnation on the other.

This series of workshops aims to examine how our contradictory attitudes toward perpetrators in society and culture can in themselves be made the object of enquiry. Furthermore, we will explore the opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning about past atrocities through the figure of the perpetrator across disciplines.

The initial workshop, Teaching about Perpetrators: Documents, Media, Representations took place on September 10–12, 2015 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The second workshop, Teaching about Perpetrators: Theories, Concepts, Approaches will take place on April 28-30, 2016 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The third workshop, Teaching about Perpetrators: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics will take
place at Utrecht University in November 2016.