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Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series: Alicia Decker

When Apr 19, 2016
from 11:45 AM to 01:00 PM
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Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series
Alicia Decker
Women’s Studies and African American Studies


Public Secrets: A Gendered History of Enforced Disappearance in Post-Colonial Uganda

This project examines the gendered history of enforced disappearance in post-colonial Uganda. Using transcripts from two national commissions of inquiry, as well as other types of archival and ethnographic data, I am examining how gender influences patterns and experiences of forcible abduction by the state. I am particularly interested in looking at disappearance, and other forms of political violence, as gendered scripts that are enacted by the state in order to maintain a certain performance of power. I am also considering the ways in which various communities “read” these scripts, and how they engage with such knowledge, across space and time. By calling attention to this troubling form of political violence, by clearly mapping a gendered terrain of visibility, this project initiates a larger public dialogue about the utility (and strategic nature) of state-sanctioned terror in Africa. Only by calling out political leaders for their roles in perpetuating this type of violence, by making the seemingly “invisible” visible, can citizens hold their governments accountable and move toward more peaceful forms of governance.

Light lunch at 11:45 a.m. Presentation starts promptly at 12:00 p.m.