February 14th, 2015
Building upon the network established as part of the workshop I organized last year on “Approaching Perpetrators,” Kjell Anderson and I have organized a three-part interdisciplinary panel on “New Horizons in Perpetrator Research,” which has now been accepted to the upcoming International Association of Genocide Scholars meeting in Yerevan, Armenia.
This panel emerges from the realization that the field of genocide studies has over the past decade seen a marked increase in the study of perpetrators, broadly defined, in a range of settings and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Taken together, the papers included in this panel represent recent and ongoing research in this specialized area of study, exploring such themes as the processes through which people become perpetrators, experiences of perpetration, the effects of perpetration on perpetrators, and the challenges of dealing with perpetrators via international and domestic transitional justice mechanisms. The papers have been organized according to the three themes: (I) macro-level theoretical and comparative approaches to understanding perpetrators with papers by Jonathan Leader Maynard, Willa Rae Culpepper, James Waller, and Alex Hinton; (II) meso-level studies of genocidal institutions and organizations with papers by Ugur Ümit Üngör, Kjell Anderson, Kaziwa Salih, and Antonio Ferrara; and (III) micro-level analysis of individual perpetrators and single case studies with papers by Hasmik Gregorian, Erin Jessee, Timothy Williams, and Christian Gudehus.
More will follow after the conference in July…
January 5th, 2015
The fall 2014 issue of the African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review has just been released, and includes my review of Susan Thomson’s Whispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda. In brief, Thomson has written a rich, ethnographically informed book that offers valuable insights on how the current government’s program of national unity and reconciliation impacts the everyday lives of its rural citizens, with particular attention paid to the subtle but meaningful acts of resistance engaged in by rural Rwandans. As such, she complicates the claims of both the Rwandan government and the international community that the Rwandan government’s program of national unity and reconciliation is affecting positive change in Rwanda, and provides a relevant foundation for further studies of grassroots resistance in other conflict and post-conflict settings. Similarly, it represents a powerful indictment of those regional and international experts who would dismiss the Rwandan government’s poor human rights record in the region given the nation’s remarkable economic progress. Read the rest of this entry »
October 22nd, 2014
Call for Papers:
New Horizons in Perpetrator Research
Thematic double panel for the 12th Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
July 8-12, 2015
Deadline: November 15, 2014 to meet the IAGS’ January 23, 2015 deadline
Organizers: Kjell Anderson, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies (NIOD), Netherlands, & Erin Jessee, University of Strathclyde, UK Read the rest of this entry »
September 2nd, 2014
The latest issue of the Oral History Review has just launched and in addition to an impressive series of articles by Henry Greenspan, Sherna Berger Gluck, Linda Shopes, and the late Kim Lacy Rogers, among others, it includes an extended version of a recent online exchange between Alexander Freund and I titled “Confessing Animals,” Redux: A Conversation between Alexander Freund and Erin Jessee.” Using Freund’s recent OHR article “‘Confessing Animals’: Towards a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview” as a starting point, we discuss the challenges of adapting oral historical practices in different settings and in the face of growing popular and professional interest in “storytelling,” broadly defined.
August 6th, 2014
Deo Komakech conducts an interview in Bolo
Al-Jazeera’s online digital magazine has just published a feature piece I co-authored with photojournalist Marc Ellison on the work of Refugee Law Project’s Deo Komakech in northern Uganda. From his hometown of Kitgum, Deo has taken on an incredible project that seeks to document previously unreported mass atrocities that occurred during the recent twenty-year civil war in northern Uganda, whether perpetrated by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) or the Ugandan military. Since launching the project in September 2010, he has archived Ugandan newspaper reports pertaining to over 4,500 LRA attacks and abductions and trained community leaders across northern Uganda in documenting additional atrocities that have yet to be reported. Thus far, an additional 230 attacks have been revealed, though more will undoubtedly follow as he extends. Read the rest of this entry »