Adam R. Rosenblatt
Associate Professor of the Practice of the International Comparative Studies Program

Adam Rosenblatt is Associate Professor of the Practice in International Comparative Studies at Duke University and the Interim Director of the program in 2022-2023. An artist and scholar of human rights, the ethics of care, and our ties to the dead, he is the author of Digging for the Disappeared: Forensic Science after Atrocity (Stanford University Press, 2015), a winner of Choice's 2016 Outstanding Academic Title award. His forthcoming book, Cemetery Citizens, is an ethnography of grassroots groups working to preserve and honor places of the marginalized dead. The book focuses on race and disability through ongoing reclamation efforts in African American burial grounds and former psychiatric hospital cemeteries. It uses sketches and poetic inquiry to “draw out” the voices and active, embodied presence of the activists and memory-workers Adam accompanies.

Adam is currently at work on his first graphic novel, Where Might Mira Be? The book is about his grandfather's experiences losing his family and being forced to work as an engraver in a Nazi concentration camp, the impossibility of locating and identifying many Holocaust victims, and a lineage of Jewish image-making expressed through engraving, drawing, and comics.

In Durham, Adam works with the Friends of Geer Cemetery, teaches community-engaged courses, and is the co-founder of the Durham Black Burial Grounds Collaboratory, an academic-community-cemetery partnership funded by the Duke Endowment.

Adam has published additional research about the politics of autism, civic engagement and teaching, and human rights activism in Disability Studies Quarterly, Human Rights Quarterly, The Applied Anthropologist, Hybrid Pedagogy and other journals. He has been consulted by the United Nations and other policy-makers on questions of missing persons and mass graves, and serves on the Faculty Advisory Board of the Duke Human Rights Center.

Current Research Interests

-Cemeteries as sites for contesting history and remaking public space
-Forensic science, humanitarianism, and the marginalized in death
-Graphic ethnography, poetic inquiry, and arts-based research
-Disability, mental health, and neurodivergence
-Activist anthropology, public scholarship, and research/teaching in partnership with community organizations
-Comics, book art, 'zines
-The dead/ancestors as ethical subjects, nonhuman animals and the rights of nature

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