Lauren van der Rede

Current Fellows: English Department, PhD, Early Career Scholar

My Doctoral research project, entitled ‘The Post-Genocidal Condition: Ghosts of Genocide, Genocidal Violence and Representation’, is located at the intersection of genocide studies, psychoanalysis, trauma studies and literature. Within genocide studies, the term is most popularly thought as a phenomenon, which may be read as a consequence both of the writing of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term, and the definition of genocide provided for in international law. However, I propose a different way of thinking genocide, by reading it as a concept, rather than a violent event constituted by a number of acts of genocidal violence. Furthermore, I argue that the development of, what I refer to as, the post-genocidal condition is contingent on the temporalization of genocide. This approach to understanding genocide is enabled by an engagement with various literary texts which attempt to represent genocide and its post-traumatic effects, through which I am able to produce a psychoanalytic reading of the concept. With a focus on “post-genocidal” societies such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Darfur, my doctoral research project is, furthermore, a critical engagement with the ways in which both international law and bodies of transitional justice have attempted to engage the subject.

Related News

Reckoning with Africa and the Desire for a Global Mnemoscape

A new paper by Next Generation Scholars Lauren van der Rede and Aidan Erasmus has appeared in a global-e Special Issue Series on Mnemonic Solidarity in the Global Memory Space.

Kronos: Southern African Histories 44

Missing and Missed: Subject, Politics, Memorialisation (Special Issue)

Africa as Concept and Method: Emancipation, Decolonization, Freedom

The Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI) Africa Workshop 2019 was hosted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with scholars from the CHR attending.

The CHR in the time of a global pandemic

In line with protocols introduced by government towards the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 virus, the CHR suspended its public events, seminars, and general fellowship program until further notice.  We wish CHR fellows, students, artists, colleagues and friends, as well as our partners and funders in South Africa and across the world much strength and compassion in these difficult times.


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