FORCE – Forensic Culture in Europe, 1930-2000

Conference Programme “Forensic Cultures” 26-28 Aug. 2021

Thursday 26th of August 2021

9:00 CET Welcome by Willemijn Ruberg
9:15 Keynote Alison Adam, ‘Blood will out: blood typing, gender and forensic objectivity’
10:15 Break
10:30 Panel 1: Infanticide and Forensic Expertise

Chair: Willemijn Ruberg

·       Siska van der Plas, ‘The role of gender in the image of male and female child murderers in Dutch courtrooms and newspapers, 1960-1989’

·       Tony Ward and Rachel Dixon, ‘Infanticide cases, forensic evidence and the element of certainty in twentieth-century England’

·       Daniel Grey, ‘The Lady Vanishes? Forensic culture, “common sense” and the ongoing problem of infanticide in England and Wales, 1900-2020’

·       Sara Serrano Martínez, ‘The umbilical cord problem and experts’ and judges’ attitudes towards infanticide in the Spanish forensic culture (c. 1923-1959)’

12:10 Lunch
13:00 Panel 2: Political Regimes and Disciplines

Chair: Filipe Santos

·       Kateřina Lišková, ‘Sexology as forensic science in state-socialist Czechoslovakia. On the intersections of expertise with the state and changes in the understanding of sexual deviance’

·       Volha Parfenchyk, ‘How law reads emotions: Translating the motive of jealousy into Russian legal discourse’

·       Mikhail Pogorelov, ‘Redefining professional jurisdiction of forensic psychiatry in early Soviet Russia, 1918 – 1936’

14:25 Break






Panel 3: The Authority of Experts in the Courtroom

Chair: Volha Parfenchyk

·       Svein Atle Skålevåg, ‘Forensic cultures and the relative significance of criminal responsibility’

·       Gethin Rees, ‘Forensic expert marginalisation: Post-controversy science in the courtroom’

15:40 Closing

Friday 27th of August

9:00 CET Panel 4: Knowledge Transfer

Chair: Kateřina Lišková

·       Annette Mülberger, ‘Women in the history of forensic psychology: The contribution of Concepción Arenal (1820-1893)’

·       Ana María Gómez López, ‘Forensic taphonomy and its multiple histories’

·       Heather Wolffram, ‘Teaching Grossian criminalistics in Imperial Germany’

10:20 Break
11:00 Panel 5: Performance of Forensic Science

Chair: Annette Mülberger

·       Pauline Dirven, ‘The forensic expert look: Embodied performances of forensic expertise, England 1920-1950’

·       Filipe Santos, ‘The “key” to the crime: Criminal cases and the projection of expectations about forensics DNA technologies in the Portuguese press’

·       Željana Tunić, ‘”Forensic lookalikes”. Imitating forensic gestures and producing nationalistic truth regimes in late-socialist Yugoslavia and its successor states’

12:25 Lunch break
14:20 Panel 6: Sexual Violence and Forensic Expertise

Chair: Pauline Dirven

·       Stephanie Wright, ‘”Facts that are declared proven”: Francoism, forensic medicine, and the policing of sexual violence in twentieth-century Spain’

·       Alejandra Palafox Menegazzi, ‘Medical-forensic representations of the crime of rape in Chile (1900-1950)’

·       Lara Bergers, ‘The making of a victim. Investigative and trial practices in twentieth-century Dutch sex crimes cases’

15:45 Break
16:00 Networking Activity in Glimpse (speakers only)
17:00 Closing

Saturday 28th of August

9:00 CET Panel 7: Mass Violence and Forensic Evidence

Chair: Sara Serrano-Martínez

·       Taline Garibian, ‘Forensics in death camps. Keit Mant’s investigations on Nazi Germany crimes’

·       María Fernanda Olarte-Sierra, ‘Sorting victims out: humanitarian and judicial forensic peace-making in the Colombian (post) conflict context’

·       Alexa Stiller, ‘Mass violence, international criminal tribunals and the increase in non-governmental forensic investigations in the 1990s’

10:25 Break
10:35 Panel 8: Politics and Identification Practices

Chair: Lara Bergers

·       Franco Capozzi, ‘Reassessing the legacy of Cesare Lombroso: Criminal anthropology in the courtroom in Liberal and Fascist Italy (1910-1930)’

·       Emilia Musumeci, ‘Identifying the enemy: Forensic culture in Fascist Italy’

11:35 Break
11:50 Closing Comments by José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez 
12:20 Closing