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Adam R. Rosenblatt, Associate Professor of the Practice

Adam R. Rosenblatt

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.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  Ics Program, 1304 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27708-0405
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:

Teaching (Spring 2023):

  • ICS 283S.01, DEATH, BURIAL & JUSTICE Synopsis
    White 106, Tu 01:45 PM-04:15 PM
    (also cross-listed as AAAS 283S.01, CULANTH 285S.01, LATAMER 283S.01, RIGHTS 283S.01, SOCIOL 283S.01)
Office Hours:

East Duke Building 210-B or Zoom). Book an appointment using this link:

Ph.D.Stanford University2011
B.A.Yale University2000

African American cemeteries • Cemeteries • Death • Disability studies • Graphic Novels • Human Rights • Memorialization • Public spaces

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Rosenblatt, A, Cemetery Citizens: Reclaiming Buried Pasts to Revise the Present (forthcoming) (2023), Stanford University Press
  2. Rosenblatt, A, The Danger of a single story about forensic humanitarianism., Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 61 (February, 2019), pp. 75-77 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Rosenblatt, A, Autism, Advocacy Organizations, and Past Injustice, Disability Studies Quarterly, vol. 38 no. 4 (December, 2018), The Ohio State University Libraries [doi]  [abs]
  4. Wagner, SE; Rosenblatt, A, Known Unknowns: Forensic Science, the Nation-State, and the Iconic Dead, in Studies in Forensic Biohistory Anthropological Perspectives (January, 2017), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 131694302X  [abs]
  5. Rosenblatt, A, Digging for the Disappeared Forensic Science after Atrocity (April, 2015), pp. 304 pages, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0804788774  [abs]

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