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Perpetrator Studies Network

W 3: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics

The third workshop in the series, Teaching about Perpetrators: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics, took place at Utrecht University on November 10-12, 2016.

The third workshop in the series focused on the ethical, aesthetic, and political dimensions of the representation of perpetrators and the use of such representations in the classroom. What are the advantages and potential dangers of using self-representations, for instance propaganda materials and videos disseminated across social media? How can the ethical, aesthetic and political problems associated with these materials be made productive for educational purposes? What sorts of lessons can be learnt from studying perpetrator (self)representations and what are the problems and limitations associated with them in an educational setting? What about fictional representations? What role do empathy and identification, disgust, fascination, and other strong affects play in pedagogy about perpetrators? Are we ‘allowed’ to feel empathy for perpetrators? Where is the line between understanding and forgiveness? What role does affect play in the politics of memory and memorialization with regard to the figure of the perpetrator? And, conversely, how can affect be integrated into the fostering of political awareness and engagement?