Francisco Ferrándiz Martín


Francisco Ferrándiz (PhD University of California at Berkeley, 1996) is Associate Researcher in the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology (ILLA) of the Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CCHS) at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). His research in the anthropology of the body, violence and social memory encompasses two main ethnographic objects: the spiritist cult of María Lionza in Venezuela and, since 2003, the politics of memory in contemporary Spain, through the analysis of the current process of exhumation of mass graves from the Civil War (1936-1939). Before being hired at CSIC, he has taught and conducted research at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Virginia, the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), the University of Utrecht, the Autonomous University of Morelos (UAEM), the University of Deusto and the University of Extremadura. He is the author of Escenarios del cuerpo: Espiritismo y sociedad en Venezuela (2004), and co-editor of The Emotion and the Truth: Studies in Mass Communication and Conflict (2002), Before Emergency: Conflict Prevention and the Media (2003), Violencias y culturas (2003), Jóvenes sin tregua: Culturas y políticas de la violencia (2005), Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Peace and Conflict Research (2007), and Fontanosas 1941-2006: Memorias de carne y hueso (2010), among others.

Elisabeth Anstett








Elisabeth Anstett is tenured senior researcher in Social Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). Her areas of expertise include: mass violence and funerary rituals, exhumations and re-burals, dead bodies management, curation of human remains, Eastern Europe and social studies of waste.

Zahira Aragüete-Toribio


Zahira Aragüete-Toribio holds an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics and a PhD in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. From 2009 to 2013, she worked as a research assistant under the supervision of Sari Wastell (Goldsmiths, University of London) in the project Bosnian Bones, Spanish Ghosts: Transitional Justice and the Legal Shaping of Memory after Two Modern Conflicts funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant). In 2013 she co-organized two international conferences, Thinking Memory through Space: Materiality, Representation and Imagination (Goldsmiths, University of London) with Pamela Colombo, Lee Douglas and Marije Hristova, and Beyond the One-Size-Fits-All Model of Transitional Justice (University of Deusto, Bilbao) with Sari Wastell. From 2013 to 2016, she worked as an associate lecturer in anthropology of rights, anthropology and history, anthropology and gender theory, and introduction to social anthropology in the Department of Anthropology of Goldsmiths, University of London. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher in the project Right to Truth, Truth(s) through Rights: Mass Crimes Impunity and Transitional Justice led by Sévane Garibian and funded by the Swiss National Fund (SNF) at the University of Geneva.

Her doctoral research explored scientific, historical and social practices in connection to the exhumation of human remains buried in mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and the postwar period in the region of Extremadura (Spain). Focusing on notions of evidence production in these contexts, she studied the role that human remains, documents, war remnants, oral histories and expertise played in the construction of new historical visions and sociopolitical claims about past political repression. Her work as a postdoctoral researcher continues to focus on issues of post-violence reparation of mass crimes; the legal, political and scientific treatment of human remains in the production of truth, evidence and knowledge after conflict; and the sociocultural legacies of mass crimes in contexts of impunity. She has published her work in Human Remains and Violence and History and Anthropology. Her book Producing History in Spanish Civil War Exhumations: Between the Archive and the Grave will be published by Palgrave Macmillan en 2017.


Zoe Crossland

Zoe Crossland is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University. Her main theoretical interests lie in semiotic archaeology, and archaeologies of death and the body. She works in historical archaeology and the archaeology of the contemporary past, focusing particularly on nodes of controversy where conflicting sets of beliefs and practices converge. In particular, she is interested in the ways in which negotiations and conflict between actors are mediated through material conditions. To fully understand the extent to which archaeology may analyze such conditions, she works in two radically different areas of research.


Her research in Madagascar is concerned with archaeologies of encounter in the highlands.  One aspect of this research traces the introduction of Protestant Christianity into Madagascar by British missionaries at the start of the 19th century. Here she focuses on the potential dislocation that was experienced when one way of living, learned through a lifetime’s experience within specific material and social conditions, was challenged in a confrontation with a radically different understanding of how to act effectively and morally, the ways in which people attempted to resolve and make sense of this dislocation, and the new and unanticipated formations that were created as a result. She is currently completing a book which explores the semiotics of encounters in highland Madagascar, provisionally entitled: “Encounters with Ancestors: archaeologies of recognition and loss in highland Madagascar.”

Forensic Archaeology and Charles Sanders Peirce’s Semeiotic

My second area of research focuses on the production of the excavated body. Here I draw on the semeiotic of C. S. Peirce to explore the signs of the body and of exhumation, considering how archaeologists constitute themselves and others through embodied material engagement with the world. Through exploring the language and orientation of forensic archaeology towards the excavation of human remains, this research works towards a fuller appreciation of the situated and material semiotic relationships through which archaeology is composed, in order to better understand how we construct meaning from excavated material remains.

Selected publications:
  • 2011 (in press) – A Fine and Private Place: The Archaeology of Death and Burial in Post-medieval Britain and Ireland. A. Cherryson, Z. Crossland and S. Tarlow (co-authors). Leicester: University of Leicester Archaeological Monographs.
  • 2012 (in press) – The signs of mission: rethinking archaeologies of representation. In Materializing Colonial Encounters: Archaeologies of African Experience. F. Richard and D Cruz (eds). Duke University Press.
  • 2011 (in press) – Archaeology of warfare and conflict. In The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion, R. McLean and T. Insoll, eds. Oxford University Press.
  • 2010 – Materiality and embodiment. In The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies (Ms No. 19). D. Hicks and M. Beaudry, (eds), pp. 386-405. Oxford University Press.
  • 2009 – Of clues and signs: the dead body and its evidential traces. American Anthropologist 111(1):69-80.
  • 2009 – Acts of estrangement: the making of self and other through exhumation. Archaeological Dialogues 16(1):102-125.
  • 2008 – Z. Crossland, M. Freeman, P. Jones and B. Boyd. The Llanbadarn Fawr ‘gravestone urn’: an object history. In Monuments in the Landscape. P. Rainbird (ed), pp. 212-227. Windgather Press.
  • 2006 – Landscape and mission in Madagascar and Wales in the early 19th century: ‘Sowing the seeds of knowledge’. Landscapes 7(1): 93-121.
  • 2003 – Towards an archaeology of ’empty’ space: the efitra of the Middle West of Madagascar. Michigan Discussions in Anthropology, 14: 18-36.
  • 2002 – Violent spaces: conflict over the reappearance of Argentina’s disappeared. In The Archaeology of 20th Century Conflict, J. Schofield, C. Beck, and W. G. Johnson (eds), pp. 115-131. One World Archaeology, London: Routledge.
  • 2001 – Time and the ancestors: landscape survey in the Andrantsay region of Madagascar. Antiquity 75(290): 825-836.
  • 2000 – Buried lives: forensic archaeology and Argentina’s disappeared. Archaeological Dialogues, 7(2): 146-15

Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Jean-Marc Dreyfus is reader in History and in Holocaust studies at the University of Manchester (History Division), United Kingdom. His research considers the Holocaust and genocides, Jewish history in Europe and post-mass violence exhumations and identification of corpses. He is the author of six monographs, including L’impossible réparation. Déportés, biens spoliés, or nazi, comptes bloqués, criminels de guerre (The impossible reparation. Deportees, looted properties, Nazi gold, war criminals), Paris, Flammarion, January 2015. He has recently edited a special issue of the European Review of History, on “Traces, memory and the Holocaust in the writings of W.G. Sebald”. He is the co-organizer (with Elisabeth Anstett) of the ERC research programme “Corpses of mass violence and genocide”. He currently holds a senior research fellowship from the British Academy, to write a book about the French search mission of corpses in Germany after WWII.

Marije Hristova

Marije Hristova holds a M.A. in History from the University of Groningen, a M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Amsterdam and a Ph.D. (cum laude) from Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

Currently, Marije is a postdoctoral researcher in the H2020 funded project UNREST: Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe at the Institute for Language, Literature and Anthropology in Madrid, which is part of the Spanish National Research Council. From 2011 to 2013 she was a Marie Curie fellow at the same institute. She is also the co-founder and co-organizer of Memorias en Red, a Spanish based research network for young researchers in the field of memory studies.

Marije is the author of Reimagining Spain: Transnational Entanglements and Remembrance of the Spanish Civil War since 1989 in which she explores the transnational frameworks and imageries that play a role in the re-emergence of the memories of the Spanish Civil War in contemporary Spanish literature.

Selected Publications:

HRISTOVA, Marije (2016). Reimagining Spain: Transnational Entanglements and Remembrance of the Spanish Civil War since 1989. Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht

Ferrándiz, Francisco, Marije HRISTOVA, Lee Douglas and Zoé de Kerangat, eds. (2014). ‘Faces and Traces of Violence: Memory Politics in Global Perspective’ [Special Issue]. Culture & History Digital Journal. 3 (2).

Zoé de Kerangat

Zoé de Kerangat

Zoé de Kerangat is a predoctoral researcher at ILLA-CSIC and PhD candidate in Contemporary History at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid since 2014.

Her PhD thesis project analyses the mass grave exhumations of victims of the Francoist repression that took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

She holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary History from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2011) and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Major in Social Science and Humanities) from University College Utrecht (2010, Países Bajos).

She was a member of the research project CSO2012-32709 “The Underground Past: Exhumations and Memory Politics in Contemporary Spain in Transnational and Comparative Perspective”. She is now part of the research projects CSO2015-66104-R”Below Ground: Mass Grave Exhumations and Human Rights in Historical, Transnational and Comparative Perspective”, UNREST (Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe) H2020 REFLECTIVE-5-2015, ref. 693523, and of the young researchers’ association Memorias en Red.

She has taught university classes at the University of Portsmouth (Reino Unido) and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and she got a grant for a three-month research stay in the Centro de Investigaciones Sociales (IDES-CONICET) en Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2015.

Germán Labrador Méndez

Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University since 2008. His interests span various fields and encompass literary and cultural history, memory studies, poetry, social movements, and urban cultures. His primary area of research is Modern and Contemporary Spain.