The Bodies and the Archive: Bureaucratization of Violence and Communal Exhumation in Mexico


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




“The Bodies and the Archive” examines what it means to find a murdered body in Mexico today, and what it means for it to become evidence. Building on interdisciplinary scholarship on bureaucracy and forensics, this research project examines regimes of justice and evidentiary practices, interrogating how bodies in mass graves are translated into terms legible to the law, and how their existence as evidence is transferred to archives. Investigating public truth production, it examines tensions between families of the disappeared and the state, and brings into conversation forensic and humanitarian exhumations, alongside recent critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on bureaucracy and violence, to address how dead bodies become evidence and how truth claims circulate around and through them.