Othering in African History

A double public lecture by prof. Nancy Rose Hunt and prof. Didier Gondola on Violence, Race, and Forms of Madness in a postcolonial world. The event focusses on different yet intertwined strategies of Othering used throughout (colonial) African history. In historicizing these dehumanizing processes, this double lecture addresses the ways in which they inform contemporary situations of conflict and provides insight into their tentacular, long-lasting impact for (post)colonial subjects and minorities:

Back to the Crime Scene: George Floyd and Africa (prof. Didier Gondola - Indiana University)


Prof. Gondola’s paper explores the new global configuration that coalesced in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by teasing out the meaning of his death and that of countless other Black victims, not only in the US but also elsewhere and more particularly in Africa. In analyzing the systemic weaponization of anti-Black racism, Gondola suggests revisiting the African continent as the main crime scene of the violence against and demotion of Black people. In the wake of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Belgium, its critics often framed the protests as an unnecessary importation of an American problem. Gondola’s paper places that reasoning under scrutiny by reconnecting Floyd’s murder to the violence of European colonial history in Africa.


Veins of Madness in Bukavu (prof. Nancy Rose Hunt - University of Florida)


Prof. Hunt will discuss her ongoing research on forms of madness in Eastern Congo, with a focus on a few “mad” figures who have captured the imagination of Bukavu’s citizens, as well as a consideration of forms of tolerance and patterns of resort within this city whose everyday spatialities includes Rwanda with a quite different mental health regime. The paper will be methodological and suggestive and insist on the value of a heuristic of limit situations. The topic is particularly apt for a UGent setting given the proximity of the Ghuislain Museum on the history of psychiatry, an initiative of the Broeders Van Liefde who run several mental health care clinics in the Great Lakes region.


As a joint public lecture, the insights of these prominent scholars will allow for a rich Q & A on the transversal themes of the violence of colonialism, health inflictions, race, madness, and their continued relevance in a postcolonial but not so decolonial world.

AUDITORIUM D (Plateaustraat 22 9000 Gent)22/11/2021 18:00 - 19:3064
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