Aesthetics of Memory, Narratives of Repair, and Why Remorse Matters


Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 12:00pm


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a professor and South African National Research Foundation Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma at Stellenbosch University, focuses her research on trauma in the aftermath of gross human rights violations and on remorse and forgiveness that emerge in victim-perpetrator dialogues. At Radcliffe, Gobodo-Madikizela returns to the archive of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to think through the horrific violence in contemporary South Africa. Is this violence a reflection of “ghosts” from the past, the death of hope in the present, or a combination of both?

Looking at the possibility of repair and “healing” of what remains of violent histories and what continues transgenerationally, she will explore how a sense of solidarity and responsible citizenship might be restored through what she terms “reparative humanism.” The project will culminate in a book titled “Aesthetics of Memory and Narratives of Repair.” Join us to learn more about Gobodo-Madikizela’s ongoing research.

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