Forensic, Space & Law, Al-Quds Bard College, Human Rights and International Law, Urban Studies & Spatial Practices; 2018—2021. (4th year BA studio class)


online and in-person

Some meetings will be online-only while other meetings will be in-person only; occasionally meetings will be in-person but streamed online; see notes on the syllabus.


Jens Haendeler

Office Hours: Mondays 10am to 11am or by appointment;

Guest Teaching Assistants:

Omar Hmidat

Raneem Ayyad

Anas Al Khateeb


This course offers theoretical and practical reflections on the the relations between the study of the space of architecture/built environments within the area of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (HR). Taking the architectural unit of  “the cemetery” as an entry point, we will discuss the evidentiary role of architecture as an instrument to investigate legal controversies within their distinct spatial, legal and epistemological dimensions. The role of space and architecture can be used as evidence within the different forums of international justice or truth commission amongst others, as well as a source of knowledge by which political events, processes and histories can be reconstructed and analysed. 

The first part of the course will allow us to build a shared vocabulary surrounding the concepts of delay, uncertaintyevidencebodiesborders, death, and territory, amongst other keywords from a wide range of readings from architectural theory, legal geography, anthropology, and philosophy. The second part of the course will see a collective investigation of our case study, mobilizing both remote mapping and forensic fieldwork, allowing us to contextualize our findings within both their situated legal and geographic environments, as well as within larger scale historical, territorial and social transformations.