My research addresses issues of politics, violence and collective memory, as well as development, human rights and international justice. Building on experience as a forensic anthropologist in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq, my research centres on conflict and violence, with specific attention to mass graves, mass death, genocide, and the politics of death and the dead. I also interrogate the efficacy of geopolitical interventions and universalist assumptions related to trauma, healing, justice, as well as wider human rights discourses on conflict and disaster.
My current research uses an examination of mass graves to ask how the period of the Khmer Rouge regime (1975 – 1979) informs and shapes contemporary Cambodian life. As physical markers of violence and political instability, mass graves make visible the clash between history (as constructed by the state) and memory (as experienced by everyday people), examining how moments of national trauma re-shape the state and relationships within it, and why destructive periods of violence nonetheless create new fields for the imagination of the religious and the social.
As part of my work I have also worked on DNA identification of human remains, exploring its socio-historical constructs and the assumptions that influence its use in disaster victim identification.
Methodologically I am interested in how creative methodologies enable spaces for exploring difficult and sensitive issues, and how visual methods in particular can offer modes for engaging beyond the academic community. As part of this I am interested in visual culture, public media and its consumption.