Disasters, Violence, and Recovering Bodies

2020 Crisis

Disasters, Violence, and Recovering Bodies

This interdisciplinary panel features experts involved in disaster recovery, supporting families who have lost loved ones to mass violence, and identifying the bodies of missing persons in contexts including post-conflict northern Uganda, the United Kingdom, Armenia and Azerbaijan, a forgotten massacre site of striking African American workers in the U.S., and the “killing fields” of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Together, they will explore how their work challenges dominant paradigms of experts’ detachment and objectivity, what constitutes a disaster site, how it should be investigated, how mourners and bodies are treated, and what kinds of healing or “closure” can be hoped for. 

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EST

Where: Register on Zoom HERE

Davette Gadison

Forensic Coordinator for the South Caucusas under the Forensic Unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Davette Gadison is the Forensic Coordinator for the South Caucasus under the Forensic Unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross where she engages in the application of forensic science to humanitarian efforts. She is also a PhD candidate specialized in forensic anthropology pursuing a doctoral degree in Anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, she served as a forensic consultant and organized the preliminary investigation of the 1887 Thibodaux Massacre of Black sugar cane workers in Thibodaux, Louisiana. This investigation sought to bring recognition to the event in 1887 and healing to the surviving descendants and surrounding community. Her prior experience has also centered on forensic anthropology and human rights work in countries such as Guatemala and Somalia where she was engaged in the forensic investigation of mass graves.

Jaymelee Kim

Associate Professor of Forensic Sciences, University of Findlay, Ohio.

Jaymelee Kim is a biocultural human rights anthropologist and associate professor of forensic sciences at the University of Findlay. She has conducted research in Canada regarding the use of a transitional justice model to address human rights violations and deaths of First Nations vis-a-vis the Indian residential school system; in Uganda to interrogate the cultural, political, and forensic implications of investigations into mass graves; and in the US to evaluate human trafficking survivor reintegration needs in rural areas. Beyond this, Dr. Kim consults for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office in Detroit, Michigan, serves as a human rights delegate for the American Anthropology Association, and is a certified human trafficking 101 trainer for the Northwest Ohio Rescue and Restore (anti-human trafficking) Coaltion.

Angela Soler

Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (NYC OCME).

Angela Soler is a Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (NYC OCME). Prior to joining NYC OCME, Dr. Soler completed postdoctoral appointments at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Tucson, Arizona, and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Dr. Soler’s research focuses on the identification of human remains and specifically the resolution of cases of long-term unidentified individuals, who are often the most vulnerable within our society. Along with Dr. Jared Beatrice, she is a primary researcher on The Undocumented Border Crosser Health Project, which investigates the biological consequences of structural violence in undocumented migrants who die while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.  The views and opinions of Dr. Soler are her own and do not represent the Office of Chief Medical Examiner or the City of New York.

Lucy Easthope

Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard at the University of Durham and Fellow in Mass Fatalities and Pandemics at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath.

Lucy Easthope is a leading authority on recovering from disaster, with a
particular interest in the care of the bereaved and the deceased. For over two decades she has challenged others to think differently about what comes next, after tragic events. She is a passionate and thought-provoking voice in planning for the dead of pandemics, conflict and disaster, and has been a tactical advisor to UK disaster responders since 2001.

Based in the UK, she is known globally for her work and holds an honorary position at Massey University, New Zealand. She is a Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard at the University of Durham and Fellow in Mass Fatalities and Pandemics at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. She is also the recovery lead at the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College. She holds an LLB (Bristol), Masters in Risk, Crisis and Disaster management (Leicester) and PhD in Medicine (Lancaster).

Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucygobag

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