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Scholastique Muksonga: On Mourning and Exile: Looking back at Rwanda
Join Rwandan author Scholastique Muksonga as she explores ideas of mourning and exile in the wake of the Rwandan genocide.

Of her most recent book, "Igifu," the New York Times writes that it "depicts the lives of Rwanda’s Tutsis from their exile in the 1960s to the genocide of the ’90s. These stories follow the broad strokes of the author’s own life, though, unlike Mukasonga’s prior books “Cockroaches” and “The Barefoot Woman,” they are less explicitly autobiographical. Instead, she mediates the personal through fable to convey the sense of a collective past . . . The devastation in Mukasonga’s stories is only amplified by the short story form. “Igifu” is notably slim, as though to suggest all that still hasn’t been told."

Scholastique will be joined in conversation by Dr. Timothy Longman of Boston University.

Presented by Roger Williams University Library and Scholars at Risk-US (in association with the African Studies Association and Archipelago Books)

Oct 28, 2021 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Scholastique Mukasonga
Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. In 1960, her family was displaced to the polluted and under-developed Bugesera district of Rwanda. Mukasonga was later forced to leave the school of social work in Butare and flee to Burundi. She settled in France in 1992, only 2 years before the brutal genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, Mukasonga learned that 37 of her family members had been massacred. Twelve years later, her autobiographical account "Cockroaches." Her first novel, "Our Lady of the Nile," won the Ahamadou Kourouma prize and the Renaudot prize in 2012, as well as the Océans France Ô prize and the French Voices Award, and was made into a film in 2020. Her most recent book is "Igifu," a collection of short stories based on her experiences surrounding Rwanda and the effects of the genocide.
Dr, Timothy Longman
Timothy Longman is professor of political science and international relations at Boston University. He is the director of the Institute on Culture Religion and World Affairs and previously served as director of the African Studies Center for nine years. His books Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda and Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda are both published by Cambridge University Press, and he is currently writing a book on church-state relations across Africa. He has previously held teaching or research appointments at Vassar College, the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, the National University of Rwanda, and the University of the Witwatersrand, and he has served as a consultant for USAID, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Justice Department, and Human Rights Watch in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.