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Conference - The Disappeared

Addressing the Legacies and Challenges of Confronting Human Disappearance

June 10, 2024 - June 11, 2024
Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road and The Great Hall, Lanyon Building, QUB.
08:30 - 17:00

Over two days, some of the world’s leading experts and practitioners will gather in Belfast to discuss the global legacies and implications of enforced disappearance. Hosted by the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University, as the first international conference of its kind, The Disappeared: Addressing the Legacies and Challenges of Confronting Human Disappearance will bring together leading voices from the policy sector, academia and world of arts to centre “disappearance studies” as a new core research field in politics, international relations and legal studies and in conflict, violence and peace related programmes.

​With the participation of those affected by disappearance, policymakers, practitioners and scholars, the conference will consider historical understandings and experiences alongside new ethical and conceptual frameworks, research agendas and policy responses with the objective of launching Disappearance Studies as a sub-field of policy-relevant research and practice in its own right.


Please note

  • Day One of the conference will take place in Riddel Hall, 185 Stanmillis Road, Belfast.
  • Day Two of the Conference will take place in The Great Hall, Lanyon Building, University Road, Belfast.


Further details can be found at the event’s official website here.




Day One (10 June 2024)

Disappearance: Testimony and Research

Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, QUB


0830 - 0900 Registration


0900 - 0915 Opening Remarks: Richard English (Queen's) and Colin Barr (Notre Dame)


0915 - 0930 Concerning Disappearance: Roddy Brett (Bristol) and Brad Evans (Bath)


0930 - 1100 Opening Panels: Testimony

  • 0930 - 1015 Northern Ireland: Sandra Peake (Wave Trauma Centre, Belfast) in Conversation with Dympna Kerr
  • 1015 - 1100 Colombia: Josefina Echavarria Alvarez (Notre Dame) in Conversation with Elizabeth Santander


1100 - 1130 Coffee break - Refreshments will be provided


1130 - 1230 Panel: Seeking Redress for Enforced Disappearance: Lessons from Colombia

Moderator: Valerie Rosoux (UC Louvain)

  • Roberto Vidal (President of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Colombia)
  • Luz Janeth Forero Martínez (General Director, Missing Persons’ Unit, Colombia)


1230 - 1330 Lunch – lunch and refreshments will be provided


1330 - 1445 Panel: National and International Responses to Enforced Disappearance

Moderator: Brad Evans (Bath)

  • Maria Clara Galvis (Universidad Externado de Colombia)
  • Arely Cruz Santiago (University of Exeter)


1445 - 1500 Closing Comments: Roddy Brett (Bristol)


1500 - 1600 Reception


Day Two (11 June 2024)

Reappearance: Excavating the Human

Great Hall, Lanyon Building, University Road, QUB


0900 - 1030 Panel: Enforced Disappearance and the Forensic and Archival Response

Moderator: Colin Barr (Notre Dame)

  • Miguel Moctezuma (University of Oxford)
  • Josefina Echavarria Alvarez (Notre Dame)
  • Leslie Wingender (Humanity United)
  • Ruth Murray (University of Oxford)
  • Eleanor Williams (University of Oxford)


1030 - 1100 Coffee Break - Refreshments will be provided


1100 - 1230 Panel: Emerging Perspectives in the Study of Disappearance

Moderator: Elise Feron (Tampere University)

  • Phil Scraton (Queen's)
  • Emma Murphy (Notre Dame)
  • Lauren Dempster (Queen's)
  • Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (University of Warwick)


1230 - 1315 Lunch - Lunch and refreshments will not be provided.  Delegates are advised to make their own arrangements.


1315 - 1430 Panel: Artistic Responses to Disappearance

Moderator: Brad Evans (Bath)

  • Chantal Meza (artist)
  • Nuala Finnegan (University College Cork)
  • Daniele Rugo (Brunel University)


1430 - 1500 Coffee Break - Refreshments will be provided


1500 - 1630 Plenary Lecture: Carlos Beristain (Former Truth Commissioner and member of the group of experts on Disappearance in Mexico)

Chair: Louise Mallinder (Queen's)


1630 - 1700 Closing Remarks

  • Roddy Brett (Bristol)
  • Brad Evans (Bath)
  • Josefina Echavarria Alvarez (Notre Dame)
  • Richard English (Queen’s)


The Event is Co-hosted by:

The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast

The Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland, University of Notre Dame

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

The Global Insecurities Centre, The University of Bristol

The Centre for the Study of Violence, The University of Bath


To view the Conference Programme please click here.


Image credit: Chantal Meza, Obscure Beasts V, 2018. Coal, ink, pastels, watercolour, pigments and glue. 115cm x 86cm.

The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
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