Professor Susan Thomson reflects on 20th anniversary of Rwanda genocide

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Twenty years ago, Susan Thomson, now a Colgate professor, was in Rwanda during the genocide that still shapes the narrative of that country. 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.

She discussed her book and her experiences in Rwanda during the height of the violence at one of several events organized by the Peace and Conflict Studies and the Africana and Latin American Studies programs.

“The events in Rwanda changed my life,” she told those gathered at a recent Heretics Club Lunch Series.

In April, Thomson will further share her scholarship and studies of the genocide in a roundtable discussion with Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst, a well-known scholar of Africa, and Noel Twagiramungu, a human right scholar who has worked closely with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Another event in the series includes a lecture by Lee Ann Fujii titled “The Power of Violent Display: Comparing Lethal Episodes from Bosnia, Rwanda, and the U.S.” Fujii is author of Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda. She will be on campus March 5.

The film Hotel Rwanda, directed by Terry George (2004), will be screened at Love Auditorium.  The film  reminds all of us what one person can accomplish when moved to act. It can be seen at 7 p.m. Monday, April 21.