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Regimes of Memory and Denial in the African Great Lakes region

April 12, 2023 @
12:00 p.m.
- 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
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You are invited to the inaugural meeting of the Strassler Center Colloquium on New Research in Genocide Studies. This meeting will feature Chris Davey, Charles E. Scheidt Professor of Genocide Studies and Genocide Prevention, who will present his work-in-progress, “Regimes of Memory and Denial in the African Great Lakes region” (abstract copied below), with a comment from MK Speth.

Lunch will be served.

If you are interested in attending, please email  Robyn Conroy, who will circulate Chris Davey’s paper to all attendees.

Regimes of Memory and Denial in the African Great Lakes region

The denial of genocide is inherent to the success of perpetrator societies in destroying human groups. The erasure of evidence, histories, public memory, and other underpinnings of atrocity story-telling all perpetuate violence. Yet, like any socio-political phenomena, denial of mass violence requires interrogation particularly in its deployment of memory regimes which promote forms of denial or where political power thrives on the prosecution of denial. This chapter draws from existing literature, elite political speech, memorials, and fieldwork to offer a comparative view of regimes of memory and denial across three Africa Great Lakes states: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda. Core to this confluence of regimes are the layered ethnic politics of Hutu and Tutsi identities in each country. Regimes of memory and denial across these bordering countries lead to continued political and violent conflict through rebel groups, disenfranchised diasporas, or marginalized minorities. These regimes support powerful elites and block pathways to peace. Reconciliation across these states is limited and either subject to conscious neglect or artful obfuscation. Denial in the African Great Lakes region, therefore is interrogated in this chapter as a socio-political phenomenon, and not only as a stage of genocide.


April 12, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


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