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20th anniversary of Rwandan Genocide: a roundtable PCON discussion

By Contributing Writer on April 7, 2014

Adapted from a Colgate University news article by Kellyann Hayes ’16

Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst,  Professor Susan Thomson, and special guests David Himbara, Joseph Sebarenzi and Noel Twagiramungu will hold a roundtable discussion about the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at 7 p.m. Monday in Love Auditorium.  The discussion also will be available through a live webcast (available above).

The panelists will focus on what has happened in the African nation since 1994. The event is one in a series held recently on campus to commemorate the anniversary.

Thomson was in Rwanda during the genocide. Her book — Whispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Postgenocide Rwanda (University of Wisconsin Press) — examines grassroots resistance to the postgenocide policies established by Rwandan government officials.

Herbst is a well-known scholar of Africa. He is co-editor of On the Fault Line: Managing Tensions and Divisions Within Societies, published in 2012. The collection of essays examines “fault lines” within nations, which can lead to mass violence.

Himbara was the principal private secretary to the Rwandan president from 2000-2002, and head of the strategy and policy unit in the president’s office from 2006 to 2010.  Sebarenzi is the former speaker of the Rwandan Parliament, and Twagiramungu is the former general secretary for the Rwandan League for Promotion and Defense of Human Rights.


Prof. Douglas Porch Guest Presentation: “Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War”

By Peace and Conflict Studies on March 7, 2014

On March 10th, at 7pm in Lawrence 105, Prof. Douglas Porch will be presenting “Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War”.  A decade of military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq has revived historical debates about the costs of operations designed to eliminate guerrillas and build nations. Douglas Porch’s sweeping history of counterinsurgency challenges the myth that this is a humane and effective way of war. The reality, he reveals, is that these campaigns have shattered and divided societies and unsettled civil-military relations.

Douglas Porch is Distinguished Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His books include The French Foreign Legion, The Conquest of the Sahara, The French Army 1871-1914 and  Wars of Empire. The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in World War II (2004), received numerous awards. Porch’s latest work, Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War (Cambridge University Press) has been placed on the Army Chief of Staff’s reading list for all officers.

Porch poster v5


Peace and Conflict Studies Prof. Nancy Ries Participates in Panel on Ukraine

By Peace and Conflict Studies on March 4, 2014

Nancy RiesAs events in Ukraine unfold at a rapid pace, Colgate faculty members with expertise in the region, including Nancy Ries of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, are bringing the latest issues to the forefront in the classroom and special panel discussions.

Read more on the main Colgate news site: Colgate faculty members share knowledge of Ukraine, Russia in timely panel discussion.


Lee Ann Fujii Guest Presentation — “The Power of Violent Display: Comparing Lethal Episodes from Bosnia, Rwanda, and the US”

By Peace and Conflict Studies on March 3, 2014

The Power of Violent Display Event PosterHow does performative display link three quite different episodes of lethal violence? Lee Ann Fujii’s presentation on  March 4, 2014 looks at the Bosnian war (1992-1995), the Rwandan genocide (1994), and Jim Crow Maryland (1931-1933), analyzing collective, public violence and what these displays communicate to various audiences.

Political Scientist Lee Ann Fujii is author of Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda (2009). She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, working on her second book, Putting on a Show: Scenes of Atrocity in Bosnia, Rwanda, and the United States.


Prof. Susan Thomson – “How Rwanda Changed My Life”

By Peace and Conflict Studies on February 17, 2014

Professor Thomson (@susanmthomson) begins Colgate’s series of events to honor the 20th anniversary of genocide in speaking about how the Rwandan genocide changed her life. Watch her the video below:


Professor Susan Thomson speaks to Montreal’s La Presse

By Peace and Conflict Studies on February 6, 2014

Professor Thomson recently spoke to Montreal’s La Presse about France’s very first trial of a Rwandan genocide suspect, Pascal Simbikangwa.

Click here to read the full story.


PCON Remembers the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide

By Peace and Conflict Studies on February 3, 2014

Thumbnail of events posterApril 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Over 100 days, from April to June 1994, ethnic Hutu militias killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi in the most efficient genocide of the 20th century. To mark this milestone event, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program (P-CON) presents a multi-disciplinary series of events to analyze the lessons and legacies of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

View the event poster and schedule of events.


Professor Balakian on Wannsee Conference House in the Chronicle of Higher Education

By Peace and Conflict Studies on January 23, 2014

Peter BalakianThe article “Wannsee: Place and Deed,” by Colgate’s own Peter Balakian, was recently published by the Chronicle of Higher Education:

I was having tea with a group of writers and scholars on the veranda of a formidable white-stucco, red-tile-roof house looking out at Lake Wannsee on the western edge of Berlin. The lake was wrapped by stretches of beach and a marina, but mostly by woods, impressive late-Victorian houses, and sleek new ones of glass, metal, and wood.

Read the full article at the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Rwanda: Don’t Let the Good Trump the Bad – By Prof. Susan Thomson

By Peace and Conflict Studies on December 16, 2013

Susan Thomson, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, recently had her work on Rwandan politics published in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

From the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs:

There was no doubting that Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) would handily win September’s parliamentary elections, which it did with 76% of the vote. His party has ruled the country since July 1994, when it successfully ended the genocide of more than 500,000 ethnic Tutsi. In theory, the RPF was contending with nine other parties. In practice, Rwanda’s nearly six million voters had little choice on the ballot. A total of 98% of the votes went to the RPF and its four coalition parties. The additional five parties were not allowed to participate.

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Celebrating Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

By Peace and Conflict Studies on December 13, 2013

Jonathan Hyslop (Peace and Conflict Studies, Africana and Latin American Studies, Sociology and Anthropology), along with faculty from English, History, ALANA Cultural Center, and the Office of the President, helped organize a celebration of the late Nelson Mandela on December 12th, 2013.

You can watch a recording of the event below:

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