African Studies Association: Resistance Strategies in Central Africa (Chicago)

, 5:00pm –

On 18 November 2017, at the annual conference of the African Studies Association, UVC Director Tatiana Carayannis and Program Manager Aaron Pangburn participated in a panel entitled “Resistance Strategies in Central Africa”. The panel brought together a group of scholars to analyze actions and discourses that contest, transgress, subvert or resist to international policy prescriptions and/or national public policies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.  Koen Vlassenroot, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Conflict Research  Group at the University of Ghent, presented his reflections on resistance by armed groups in Eastern DRC, and explored whether Herbert Weiss’ theory of rural radicalism [1] (developed after the Congolese rebellions of the 1960) could help explain the character and the grievances of contemporary rebels.

An Ansoms, Professor of Development Studies at the Catholic University of Louvain, looked at resistance to land policy and social reengineering in Rwanda, and the dichotomy between hidden and open forms of resistance by the Rwandan farming community. Her presentation focused on the green revolution in Rwanda, and how farmers are expressing discontent and pushing for reform in a variety of innovative ways. Carayannis served as the panel’s discussant, while Pangburn chaired the proceedings.

[1] Herbert Weiss, Political Protest in the Congo: The Parti Solidaire Africain during the Independence Struggle (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967)