Archive: April, 2014

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

Monday, April 28th, 2014


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”

Tuesday, 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? (more…)

Al-Jazeera Opinion Piece on “Owning Memory” in Post-Genocide Rwanda

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Owning MemoryTo commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Al-Jazeera’s online digital magazine is releasing a two-volume special feature that highlights the nation’s successes and challenges in the post-genocide period. As part of this, I’ve contributed an opinion piece that examines the controversies surrounding commemoration since the genocide. At present, the special feature is available only to ipad users. However, those interested in reading my contribution to the discussion can download the pdf version here: Owning Memory.


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