ECSF Presents Paper at Anthropology Conference

March 3, 2008

2007 Ethics Center Student Fellowship recipient Dan Koosed '08 presented a paper at the Greater Boston Anthropology Consortium annual conference, held February 29, on the Brandeis campus. Entitled "Imaana, Ethnicity, and Flow: the Rwandan Genocide," this paper was inspired by a trip that Dan made to Rwanda while carrying out his ESCF internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, located in neighboring Tanzania.

The paper described the ways in which traditional Rwandan beliefs about the flow of bodily and spiritual energy, as expressed through the concept of imaana, fed into and eventually led to the internalization of a colonial ideology that dichotomized ethnic groups in Rwanda. This set of beliefs, asserted Koosed, constituted an interpretive lens through which certain events preceding the genocide became catalysts for mass violence.