Julia is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Previously, she was appointed a Early Career Lecturer at the Centre for Criminology and before that she worked as postdoctoral fellow in the ESRC Knowledge Exchange Project "Ways of Knowing After Atrocity" that was run by Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) and the Centre. Before she came to Oxford, Julia was a research fellow at the Center for Conflict Studies of University of Marburg.
Julia obtained her doctorate from the University of Marburg. Her doctoral research explored how societies remember their past after mass violence and how they deal with this traumatic rupture evoked by violence through memorial practices. Focused on the case of Rwanda, her thesis is both a empirical enquiry into memorialisation and transitional justice in Rwanda as well as the development of a broader theoretical concept of how societies deal with an uncanny past.
Her current Leverhulme project 'Atrocity's Archives: The Remnants of Transitional Justice' explores and compares the archival narratives of the Rwandan Gacaca Courts and those of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Julia's research is concerned with the ways narratives of the harm committed emerge and how the underlying assumptions of the Gacaca courts and the ICTR are addressed in the archival texts.
- Mass violence and gross human rights violations lead to a profound crisis of the institutions that regulate social and political interaction. Mass violence also destroys social bonds, social values, norms and trust. In short, mass violence provokes a rupture that relates to both, individuals and societies as a whole. This thesis poses the question: how do societies and individuals transform this rupture? The author aimes to describe the ways, in which such a rupture leads to a socio-individual process in dealing with the experience of mass violence; this process is conceptionalised as the transformation of rupture. In order to respond to the research question, the thesis proposes a spatial approach through which the socio-political process of the transformation of rupture would become theoretically intelligible. As to empirics, the thesis particularly explores the transformation of rupture in post-genocide Rwanda. By developing a spatial heuristic that incorporates various strands of literature, the thesis also contributes to the spatial turn in social sciences and to country studies on Rwanda; with regard to the latter, especially to those, focusing on memorials and commemoration. With regard to transitional justice the thesis critically scrutinizes the prevailing assumptions of closure and healing. The spatial approach allows us to see that the constitution of space is an ongoing process which is not to be closed at any time, i.e. the idea of closure contradicts the process of production of space itself.
Transitional Justice; Memorialisation; Critical Theory; Legal Archives; Rwanda; research ethics and methods