Title
Alison Des Forges and Rwanda: from engaged scholarship to informed activism Alison Des Forges and Rwanda: from engaged scholarship to informed activism
Author
Faculty/Department
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Publication type
article
Publication
Ottawa, Ont. ,
Subject
Politics
Source (journal)
Canadian journal of African studies. - Ottawa, Ont.
Volume/pages
44(2010) :1 , p. 35-74
ISSN
0008-3968
vabb
c:vabb:288232
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Alison Des Forges, a renowned scholar and human rights activist of Central Africa, died in an airplane crash in 2009. Her life is a model of the conjunction of human rights activism and scholarship; it therefore illuminates the relations between these two forms of participation in African Studies. This article commemorates her work, showing how her scholarship enriched her human rights work, and how, in turn, her scholarship was driven by her sense of social justice. The article analyses five domains of her work: her 1972 dissertation; her participation in human rights reporting; a series of Human Rights Watch reports which she wrote or edited; her magisterial work on the genocide of 1994; and her continued scholarly publications after the genocide. From this, it argues that Des Forges's life work exemplified the mutually reinforcing nature of these two forms of commitment - scholarship and work towards human rights and social justice.
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