Scholars of violence are not usually focused on acts of resistance in their studies of genocide, war, and other forms of organized violence. In this talk, Professor Fujii seeks to reverse this tendency. She foregrounds acts of resistance that occurred during large-scale episodes of collective violence in three diverse settings: the Bosnian war, the Rwandan genocide, and Jim Crow Maryland in the United States. The acts of resistance she highlights ranged from small gestures of simple kindness to public stances against the violence. She then analyzes what significance these acts had in each context. Did they matter in the context of overwhelming pressure for everyone to go along with the violence? If so, how and why did these acts matter? The data come from interviews Professor Fujii conducted in each country, a rich collection of primary sources, and publicly available government reports, trial transcripts, local newspapers, and personal memoirs.
Lee Ann Fujii, PhD, is Associate Professor in Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda (Cornell University Press, 2009) and is currently researching her second book, which is on local involvement in violence in three very different sites of killing (Bosnia, Rwanda, and the United States). Her articles have appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Peace Research, and Qualitative Research, among other venues. Her work has been supported by SSHRC, the United States Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Fulbright, NCEEER, and the Russell Sage Foundation.
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