Memorials are powerful mechanisms in transitioning societies from mass atrocity to more peaceful ones. This talk investigates the ways memorials can shape the experiences of survivors’ decades after the violence has ended. Dr. Nicole Fox examines how memorialization can both heal and hurt, especially when they fail to represent all genders, ethnicities, and classes of those afflicted. Drawing on extensive interviews with Rwandan genocide survivors, Fox reveals their relationships to these spaces and uncovers the micro processes in which survivors stories are made central to commemoration and how collective memory can also stratify.
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Nicole Fox, PhD is an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Criminal Justice Division. Her research focuses on how racial and ethnic contention impacts communities, including the ways remembrances of adversity shape the dynamics of social change. In her current work, Dr. Fox focuses on how post-genocide communities remember violence, and gender violence more specifically, through the creation of national collective memories embodied in memorials and monuments. Her book, Rebuilding from the Ashes of a Traumatic Past: The Everyday Complexities of Memory and Reconciliation Among Rwandan Genocide Survivors, is currently under contract with University of Wisconsin Press. Her work has been published in Social Forces, Journal for Scientific Study of Religion, Societies without Borders, the International Journal of Sociology of the Family, and Sociological Forum. Her scholarship on post-genocide Rwanda has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, National Science Foundation, The Research Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism, TAG Institute for Jewish Values, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Maurice J. among others. At CSUS, Dr. Fox teaches on crime, punishment, and global criminology. She also leads a study abroad in Ghana on Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Dr. Fox also serves as a representative for the UN ECOSOC council and participants in the annual UN Commission for the Status of Women.
The Recovering from Violence research cluster is an initiative of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University. The cluster seeks to contribute to research and practice geared toward addressing genocide, crimes against humanity, widespread human rights violations, and other forms of collective violence. The cluster engages with conflict stabilization, transitional justice, human rights, development, collective memory, displacement, psychosocial wellbeing, peacebuilding, and reconciliation—guided by the firm belief that the impacts of violence are multigenerational and interconnected. Research is conducted in collaboration with local stakeholders in communities affected by violence and, as such, continually assess research ethics and best practices for decolonizing scholarship.