Rowman and Littlefield International

Landscape, Memory, and Post-Violence in Cambodia

By James A. Tyner

4 Reviews

This book explores how the legacy of violence during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia is memorialized. Engaging with war, violence and critical heritage studies, the book looks at how the selective production of heritage diminishes opportunities for justice and reconciliation beyond the violence. It should be of particular interest to students and scholars interested in heritage studies, memory, trauma, genocide, dark tourism, and Cambodia.

Hardback ISBN: 9781783489145 Release date: Nov 2016
£85.00 €119.00 $133.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781783489152 Release date: Nov 2016
£29.95 €41.95 $45.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781783489169 Release date: Nov 2016
£29.95 €41.95 $42.50

Pages: 234


Between 1975 and 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia enacted a program of organized mass violence that resulted in the deaths of approximately one quarter of the country’s population. Over two million people died from torture, execution, disease and famine. From the commodification of the ‘killing fields’ of Choeung Ek to the hundreds of unmarked mass graves scattered across the country, violence continues to shape the Cambodian landscape.

Landscape, Memory, and Post-Violence in Cambodia explores the on-going memorialization of violence. As part of a broader engagement with war, violence and critical heritage studies, it explores how a legacy of organized mass violence becomes part of a cultural heritage and, in the process, how this heritage is ‘produced’. Existing literature has addressed explicitly the impact of war and armed conflict on cultural heritage through the destruction of heritage sites. This book inverts this concern by exploring what happens when sites of ‘heritage violence’ are under threat. It argues that the selective memorialization of Cambodia’s violent heritage negates the everyday lived experiences of millions of Cambodians and diminishes the efforts to bring about social justice and reconciliation. In doing so, it develops a grounded conceptual understanding of post-violence in conflict zones internationally.

Acknowledgments / 1. ‘Dig a Hole and Bury the Past’ / 2. ‘Their Bones Have Piled Up’ / 3. ‘More Than I Can Speak’ / 4. 'Only if Pregnant Women were Killed' / 5. ‘They Just Kept Bombing’ / 6. ‘They Are Murderous Thugs’ / Bibliography / Index

James A. Tyner is Professor of Geography at Kent State University, Ohio. His research operates at the intersection of political and population geography with a focus on war, violence and genocide. He is the author of 13 books, including War, Violence, and Population (2009) which received the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution to Geography and Iraq, Terror, and the Philippines’ Will to War (2007) which received the Julian Minghi Award for Outstanding Contribution to Political Geography.

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4 Reviews

Moved emotionally and intellectually by thousands of unmarked mass graves from the Cambodian genocide, James Tyner brilliantly exposes the silences in how and where the Khmer Rouge is remembered officially while arguing that this violent past holds an unreconciled place within the lives and landscapes of the present. His theorization of “post-violence” will inform and inspire human rights scholarship and activism well beyond Southeast Asia.

Derek H. Alderman, Professor and Head of the Department of Geography, University of Tennessee

James Tyner’s study of the mundane landscapes of post-violence – dams, reservoirs, wats, schools, hospitals, unmarked mass graves and burial pits – unearths the legacies of the Khmer Rouge ‘hidden in plain sight’ today. This forensic study of Cambodia's ruins, archival records and survivor’s memories offers nuanced and often unexpected insights into how collective remembrance and forgetting is experienced through the living landscapes of a violent national heritage.

Karen Till, Senior Lecturer, Maynooth University, Ireland

Most book reviews offer some critical comments, but this study's flaws are

so minor that such comments would be petty. Instead, this review closes with

a suggestion that this book be adopted in college courses, certainly Southeast Asia courses but also for courses on holocaust and human rights studies and

international relations, psychology, and anthropology.

Journal of Global South Studies

Tyner’s work

serves as a powerful call to recenter the geography of

genocide...his work speaks

to a wide audience of scholars beyond Cambodia, providing

a timely, vivid, and compelling insight that elaborates

contemporary critical geographies of justice, necropower,

biopolitics, and the postcolonial.

AAG Review of Books

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