About

I am a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow and Lecturer (assistant professor) in History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK, as well as a Research Associate with the Scottish Oral History Centre.  I use oral historical and ethnographic methods to study transitional communities, particularly post-genocide Rwanda, Uganda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. My research interests include mass atrocities, nationalized commemoration, symbolic violence, transitional justice, mass grave exhumations, and the ethical and methodological challenges surrounding qualitative fieldwork amid highly politicized research settings.

To date, I have published a book, Negotiating Genocide in Rwanda: The Politics of History (2017) with Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Oral History series and several peer-reviewed articles with notable journals such as Memory Studies, Conflict and Society, Oral History Review, Forensic Science InternationalHistory in Africa, and Forum: Qualitative Social Research. I also have an article forthcoming with Oral History Review and a book chapter on reconciliation forthcoming with the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbook: War and Gender,  as well as a handful of submissions in preparation.

I also have three small research projects in progress. The first project investigates the anonymous victims of war and related mass atrocities in Rwanda and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region of Africa as an impediment to genuine social repair. Recognizing that the ongoing presence of mass graves containing the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the Ugandan civil war from 1986-2006 are perceived by members of the surrounding communities as a substantial source of post-conflict tension and emotional distress, this project seeks to identify culturally and politically appropriate options for locating, identifying, and ultimately reburying the dead. The second project examines the insights and challenges inherent in using qualitative methods to engage with perpetrators of genocide and related mass atrocities, and has resulted in a focused workshop on ‘Approaching Perpetrators“, as well as several related conference panels, and going forward, an co-edited volume (with Kjell Anderson) under consideration with the University of Wisconsin Press ‘Critical Human Rights’ series. Finally, I have recently received a Carnegie Trust Research Incentive for a scoping project on “Rwandan intimacies in historical perspective”. This project considers how Rwandan practices and attitudes surrounding marriage and extra-marital affairs, same-sex relationships, and formalized friendships have shifted from the pre-colonial period to the present in response to shifts in the nation’s political sphere emerging from colonization, independence, and civil war and genocide, for example.

Beyond academia, I have co-authored a policy brief for the Uganda-based Justice and Reconciliation Project that highlights the missing victims of the recent twenty-year civil war as a substantial impediment to genuine social repair in northern Uganda. I have also published a policy brief and discussion paper on promoting social reconstruction through humanitarian forensic exhumations via the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and a research note on the challenges of conducting fieldwork in post-genocide Rwanda with the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. Finally, I occasionally write opinion pieces and other public interest publications for the media, and serve as a Rwanda country conditions expert on a regular basis, writing affidavits on behalf of Rwandans seeking asylum from government persecution.

In terms of qualifications, I hold a doctorate from Concordia University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD Program (2010), as well as a Masters in Archaeology (2003) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Archaeology (double major, 2002) from Simon Fraser University. In addition, in 2015 I completed a postgraduate certificate at the University of Strathclyde in Advanced Academic Studies that included substantive training in supervising postgraduate research, teaching, learning and assessment in the Humanities, and building a successful research career. I am also a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

 

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