Aftershocks: Legalities of Conflict
Fri, February 18, 2011
On February 17-18, 2011, this multidisciplinary conference will capitalize on the performance of Black Watch at the University of Texas, an award-winning play written by Scottish playwright Gregory Burke and performed by the National Theater of Scotland. The play explores the experiences of Scottish soldiers deployed to fight in Iraq from the Black Watch regiment, one of the oldest regiments in British history. Participating for nearly three hundred years in the British imperial project, its members have been recruited from the heart of the Scottish working class in Perthshire, Fife, and Angus. The play invites audiences to analyze the complex realities of conflict and its aftermath on all sides, imperial/colonial violence, and the contradictory and complicated ways that colonial histories are reconfigured and reproduced in the 21st century.
"Aftershocks: Legacies of Conflict" will bring together scholars, activists, performance artists and journalists to explore some of the same intersections of violence, the colonial past, memory, and trauma that Black Watch invokes, as well as the unique role that performance might play in the analysis. It will consider these issues in a variety of geographic spaces and places, with a special emphasis on the legal and political regimes that are meant to preserve memory while also transitioning into post-conflict.
Panels for the conference will be organized around some of the themes addressed in or raised by the play. Participants will be asked to consider the extent to which they resonate with their own work—from various disciplines and mediums, and on conflicts in places as varied as Guatemala, South Africa, the Balkans and Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel and Palestine.