Congratulations to Professor Kamari Clarke for receiving a 12-month faculty research fellowship at the Jackman Humanities Institute. Her project is entitled “The Elusive Work of Visibility: Toward a Theory of Absence.”
About The Elusive Work of Visibility: Toward a Theory of Absence
The Elusive Work of Visibility, a book project grounded in several years of ethnographic research in northern Nigeria, Mexico, The Netherlands, and the United States, develops a new theory of the “presence of absence” through the interpretation of data about how new geospatial technologies are being used to locate human remains. Drawing on dozens of interviews and years of ethnographic fieldwork in sites of extreme ethnic, religious, and political violence, this project delves into the contestations around meaning, visibility, and power related to the process of gathering, interpreting, and leveraging data about human remains. The book contends that, even with 21st-century technologies and sophisticated human rights alliances that link “grassroots” and “international” networks, the processes of rendering visible that which has disappeared continue to keep absent certain lived experiences and structural forces. The result may be an (unintended) recapitulation of the very colonialist and capitalist patterns that give rise to new manifestations of violence. A powerfully interdisciplinary project that combines ethnography, social theory, and considerations of pragmatic implications, this book will be of interest to academic audiences across several disciplines as well as to “international publics”—civil society organizations, governments, and citizens with a stake in understanding, addressing, and mitigating disappearances and violence.
Read the JHI's Research Fellowship announcement to learn more about the research fellowship and other faculty recipients.