CRRJ attends Stellenbosch Conference in South Africa

In December 2018, CRRJ participated in the five-day international conference Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

“The conference aims to deepen understanding of the transgenerational repercussions of traumatic pasts in a range of cultural contexts, to explore how different disciplines represent this transgenerational phenomenon, and through a comparative lens, to contribute to new knowledge production in this area of research. Our starting point is that engaging in this comparative reflection is more essential than ever, to advance scholarship and to create a new archive that understands memory and traumatic pasts as transnational and cross-cultural.”

Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma

Hosted by the Historical Trauma and Transformation Research Initiative at Stellenbosch University and the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, this conference was motivated by the contemporary struggles of post-apartheid South Africa and Aboriginal Australians. Scholars and practitioners from various countries and disciplinary backgrounds shared their work on historical trauma.

Margaret Burnham contributed to discussions on transgenerational trauma, chairing two panels with her American colleagues on the Jim Crow South. Also attending was Visiting Scholar Diane Harriford.  The first session, “Reckoning with the Legacies of White Supremacy in the Contemporary South,” included panelists Nan Elizabeth Woodruff, Pennsylvania State University (CRRJ Research Collaborator); Bill and Rita Bender, Skellenger Bender Law Firm (CRRJ Advisor); and Dianna Freelon-Foster, Southern Echo, Mississippi. 

Bill and Rita Bender, Dianna Freelon-Foster, and Nan Woodruff

The second session, “Histories of Racial Violence in The US: Digital Collaborations and Dissemination,” included CRRJ Research Collaborators Monica Munoz Martinez, Brown University; Melissa Nobles, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Geoff Ward, University of Missouri-St. Louis; and David Cunningham, University of Missouri-St. Louis. This Roundtable brought together scholars and advocates who addressed connections between contemporary violence, conflict and inequality and our much longer history of race-related political violence. Using digital and computing tools to amass, analyze and disseminate data, these researchers are able to capture stories that were previously invisible. They grappled with questions of not just what, but how, information is conveyed and presented to the public: how does one represent a history of loss through digital mediums? what kinds of meanings, experiences, ambiguities, and emotions are diminished in the digital realm? what otherwise obscure patterns are revealed by visualizing data? what price does the open source/remix culture impose on our ability to control the interpretation and authenticity of these traumatic events? how can we accommodate the needs of different audiences – professional researchers, activists, grieving families, policymakers?

Monica Martinez, David Cunningham, Geoff Ward and Melissa Nobles.