Rwanda in the Wake of Genocide:
Stretching to Understand the Unfathomable
This is a special version of Prof. Wadsworth’s ASEM on Political Forgiveness, designed as a Winter Interterm travel course to Rwanda.
This website chronicles the journey of Professor Nancy Wadsworth’s Winter 2018 Advanced Seminar, a travel course about the Rwandan genocide and the country’s subsequent efforts to repair and remember.
These are posts by students on the trip, part of their final class requirements.
Please note: Violence and sexual violence are referenced in all following posts
Professor Nancy D. Wadsworth
I hope to continue refining the class in coming years, but I know that the profundity and sense of emotional community that marked the first time with this remarkable group of students will be forever impressed on my memory.
Honoring the Dead? Struggling to Understand the Presence of Human Remains at Rwandan Genocide Memorials
The Rwandan government argues that the display of human remains is one necessary effort to counter denialism about the Genocide Against the Tutsi. Thus, it is not without careful consideration that bodies are placed on display.
Defining roles in the civil wars and genocides is much fuzzier than the official government narratives would lead us to believe.
In Narcisse’s story, this truly seems to be what has caused him the most suffering: the feeling of having everything that was once his being ripped away with no ability to control the outcome.
As we learned, some of the deadliest massacre sites were Catholic Churches, most notably Ntarama and Nyamata, and partly because their priests abandoned their own parishioners or actively enabled genocidaires.
With so much emphasis on survivors, it’s difficult to understand what inspired some Hutus to murder and others to resist.
From the Fields of Genocide: How Individuals Accepted Genocidal Ideation in the Genocide Against the Tutsi
Examining the role that propaganda played in the genocide and focusing on the internal psychological processes that translated genocidal ideation into active participation in ethnic cleansing.
There were many echoes of the Holocaust in our tour of Rwanda’s more recent trauma.
About the Class
In December of 2018, Prof. Nancy Wadsworth, along with teaching assistant Anne Pogoriler, took six DU students to Rwanda for a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience.
For most of our trip, we were based in Kigali, traveling to memorial sites and visiting organizations in and around the area. We also traveled to the Huye district in the southwest. For our full itinerary (minus some spur-of-the-moment adjustments), click below.
The coursework was designed to prepare us for and complement our field trips. We read a major history of Rwanda as well as articles on psychological aspects of the genocide and various approaches to healing and rebuilding the country after.