The Future of Rwanda’s Past: Transitional Justice, Archival Practice, and the Remaking of History after Genocide


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


African and African American Studies


This dissertation examines how the processes and politics of post-genocide reckoning have had a profound impact on historical research and production in Rwanda, and on the various public meanings of Rwandan history today. Through an analysis of three rich sites of history-making—the law, the academy, and the archive—the project traces the growing influence of human rights discourse on the construction and narration of Rwanda’s past and offers key insights into the ways in which “Never Again” has come to operate as a powerful ideological and epistemological framework. In so doing, the dissertation raises critical questions about the tensions, contestations, and erasures that are produced when human rights, archival practice, and historical production become increasingly aligned against a backdrop of post-genocide nation-building.