Mediating Justice: Law, Violence, and Ethnography Closing Event


Location: Virtual Event

Mediating Justice


Keynote Address: M. Kamari Clarke, Professor of Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles

Moderator: Catherine Bolten, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Commentary from the following participants:

  • Justin De Leon, Visiting Assistant Professor, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • William Garriott, Associate Professor in the Law, Politics, and Society Program, Drake University
  • David Anderson Hooker, Associate Professor of the Practice of Conflict transformation and Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.
  • Julia Kowalski (Series Co-Creator), Assistant Professor of Global Affairs, Keough School for Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame
  • Laura Kunreuther, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Bard College
  • Katherine Martineau (Series Co-Creator), Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, Binghamton University (Series Co-Creator)
  • Mahan Mirza, Executive Director, Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion
  • Sameena Mulla, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University
  • Laurie Nathan, Professor of the Practice of Mediation, Director of the Mediation Program, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame
  • Alyssa Paylor, Ph.D. Student in Peace Studies and Anthropology, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

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The last year has been a transformational period for the idea of justice. We see this, for example, in talk about the systematic inequities exposed by the high rate of COVID-19 deaths among U.S. Americans of color, as well as the mass social mobilization in response to racist police violence after George Floyd’s murder. 

Justice, or its absence, has become an organizing concern across U.S. public spaces and an orienting point for scholarly debate. 

Inspired by these events, the “Mediating Justice” series asks what it is that we mean when we talk about justice. To do this, the series takes an unusual approach. Instead of the usual turn to philosophy or jurisprudence for a definition, this series brings anthropologists and peace studies scholars together to discuss how ideas of justice live in particular contexts. 

While normative definitions of justice derive their power from their claim to universality, anthropologists have long shown that abstract concepts such as justice exert their grip in specific socio-historical contexts, taking shape through social and semiotic mediation. Concepts of justice are always mediated by the interactions, institutions, and conditions of their use. This series explores how concepts of justice emerge through mediation processes like translation, pedagogy, contestation, erasure, and appropriation. By carefully tracing how practices of justice unfold, we aim to expand our understanding of how “justice” works, including how it might work as a normative goal for justice-seeking scholarship.

Join us for a conversation to close this dynamic series. 

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New video interviews in the series will be released each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (U.S.) from March 3-31, 2021. They will be released simultaneously at, on the Kroc Institute Facebook page, and the Institute's You Tube Channel