• Mostar bridge, Sarajevo
  • Victims of genocide, Nyamata memorial, Rwanda
  • Parade of coffins, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Mountain gorilla twins, Rwanda
  • Mosque, Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • Altar, Nyamata memorial, Rwanda
  • Remembering the dead, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Rural life, Rwanda
  • Victims of genocide, Srebrenica, Bosnia
  • Prisoners at work, Rwanda
  • Pigeon square, Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • VIctims of genocide, Ntarama, Rwanda

PART II OF ORAL HISTORY REVIEW EXCHANGE ON “STORYTELLING IN ORAL HISTORY NOW ONLINE

May 23rd, 2014

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The Oral History Review blog has recently published the second part of an email exchange Alex Freund and I had surrounding the publication of his new article “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.” In it, we discuss the troubling tendency for many oral history practitioners to, following the stated benefits of narrative therapy, claim that the interview experience is inherently cathartic and healing for interviewees. To read part two of the exchange, visit: Storytelling in Oral History: An Exchange, Part 2.

Now online: Presentations from the Approaching Perpetrators workshop!

May 21st, 2014

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Last week, the Approaching Perpetrators workshop took place at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Generously supported by the Liu Institute, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the workshop facilitated the establishment of a new network of ethnographers skilled in working with perpetrators, broadly defined, and provided an opportunity for indepth knowledge exchange on topics related to negotiating gatekeepers and building relationships, language and the consequences of labelling people as perpetrators, morality, ethics and voice, and managing danger surrounding fieldwork. Read the rest of this entry »

New Journal Article: Good Kings, Bloody Tyrants, and Everything In Between: Representations of the Monarchy in Post-Genocide Rwanda

May 21st, 2014

HIASarah Watkins and I have just published an article titled “Good Kings, Bloody Tyrants, and Everything In Between: Representations of the Monarchy in Post-Genocide Rwanda” in History in Africa: A Journal of Method. It is the outcome of our first (but hopefully not last) collaboration, and uses modern-day narratives related to the Rwandan monarchy as a lens for understanding the current political climate in Rwanda. The piece analyzes three narratives common in post-genocide Rwanda, as articulated by Rwandans from diverse regional, economic, ethnic, and political backgrounds. In each instance, we find that the narrators imbued the Rwandan monarchy with attributes that reflected their individual political affiliations, lived experiences, and identity. As such, we approach these narratives as mythico-histories rather than historical fact. Read the rest of this entry »

Oral History Review blog post on “Storytelling in Oral History: An Exchange”

April 28th, 2014

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The Oral History Review blog has recently published the first part of an email exchange Alex Freund and I had surrounding the publication of his new article “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.” In it, Alex discusses the genesis of the article, which seeks to promote discussion surrounding the interview and storytelling more generally as intricately embedded in Western thought and history, and therefore warranting ongoing critical discussion. To read part one of the exchange, visit: ‘Storytelling’ in oral history: an exchange.

Now Online: Workshop Website for “Approaching Perpetrators: Ethnographic Insights on Ethics, Methodology, and Theory”

April 8th, 2014

Convicted genocidaires out on work detail in Rwanda

“Approaching Perpetrators: Ethnographic Insights on Ethics, Methodology and Theory,” is a three day workshop taking place at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia from May 14-16, 2014. Building upon a conversation initiated surrounding a panel at last year’s American Anthropology Association (AAA) meeting, participants are taking a nuanced approach to the personal, social, cultural, economic, political, and historical contexts through which people become perpetrators of violence, broadly defined. Participants will examine events from more subtle forms of everyday violence to large-scale genocides and related mass atrocities, as well as the politics of memory and history that influence transitioning and post-conflict communities’ responses to perpetrators’ actions. The following research questions will be addressed: What does the word “perpetrator” mean and how is it applied in different settings? What might ethnographic fieldwork among perpetrators look like? What are some of the particular ethical and methodological challenges of conducting fieldwork among perpetrators? And finally, how can engaging with perpetrators enhance existing anthropological theories regarding everyday violence and mass atrocities, and their aftermath? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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