It has been a challenging period returning from the Fulbright in Rwanda and beginning to write my dissertation in the U.S. I am thankful to colleagues including my dissertation advisor Dr. Ken MacLean (Clark University), my committee member Dr. Julia Viebach (Oxford University), and to Dr. Catharine Newbury (Smith College, Professor emerita) for agreeing to join my committee after the sudden passing of my mentor Dr. Lee Ann Fujii.
I also extend special gratitude to Dr. Erin Jessee, Dr. Annie Pohlman, Dr. Tim P. Williams, Dr. Timothy Williams, Dr. Yolande Bouka, Dr. Eric Ndushabandi, Tameisha Henry, Ameya Naik, Felix Manzi, Jean Damascene Ndaborira, Jerome Irankunda, Alexandra LaRosa, Mac Hamilton, my husband Ben Sacks, Linda and Don Lakin, Zach and Susie Lakin, and countless friends and colleagues for helping me jump into the writing process.
On October 11, 2018, I had the privilege of interviewing General Romeo Dallaire, who led the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Rwanda during the genocide, and who is now a thought leader on human rights and atrocity prevention. We spoke about true meanings of human rights, the challenges of garnering political will to intervene in atrocity situations, and the ability of youth to garner support for humanity via “sovereignty of the individual.”
I was also honored to present research on symbolic violence at the Oral History Association annual conference at Concordia University in Montreal. I was pleased to share the floor on a panel titled “Narratives of symbolic violence: Finding meaning amid unspeakable violence” with Dr. Erin Jessee, Dr. Annie Pohlman, Dr. Yolande Bouka, and Dr. Leyla Neyzi. We spoke about symbolic forms of violence in Turkey, Namibia, Rwanda, and Indonesia.
Please keep an eye on this space for more updates, where I’ll be speaking and teaching, etc.