May 8, 2023
Whose History Are We Reading? Bringing (Local) Knowledge from Africa into the Global Discourse
- 10:30 to 12:30
- Dept. I
- Mona Friedrich
This is a lecture from Colloquium Series Department 1.
In my presentation, I would like to introduce to the Department the two main themes of my current work that address the production of local knowledge and the formation of historical narratives in Africa. My PhD Project, which I am turning into a book at the moment, focuses on the memorialization of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Since 1994, the country has been carrying out an experiment of reconciliation; an enduring process both enabled and complicated by the arrival and increase of local and international visitors to the national genocide memorials. Using a less Western-centric approach to memory and dissonant heritage theory, the study establishes how the production and consumption of Rwanda’s memorialscape is negotiated. Here, the question of how historical narratives are constructed and communicated and who undertakes their historization are discussed in relation to the development of durable peace in the region. During the second part of my presentation, I will pick up on the themes discussed above to present the cross-departmental Africa Initiative that was launched at the Institute last year. By elaborating on the African Anthropocene and my own ideas for the initiative, I will argue that even though African researchers and local experts continuously illustrate what a large role the continent plays not only in our planet’s present, but also in its future, knowledge and scientific input coming from Africa is often devalued or even disregarded.
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About This Series
This event is part of the Colloquium Series Department I—2023.