Sharp Lectures explore African history and politics

The turbulent and sometimes violent political history of Central Africa takes center stage during SMU’s 2009 Stanton Sharp Lectures on Africa. The event, presented by the Clements Department of History in SMU’s Dedman College, takes place Feb. 16-17 in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall.

David NewburyDavid Newbury, Gwendolen Carter Professor of African Studies at Smith College, speaks on contemporary violence in the Congo and its roots in unresolved issues of decolonization in “The Deferred Violence of Decolonization: The Case of the Congo” Feb. 16. Newbury’s recent research focuses on the historical roots to violence in Central Africa during the 1990s, tracing both its historical effects and the efforts by local individuals to rebuild functioning communities. His books include Vers le Passé du Zaire: Méthodes Historiques and The Lands Beyond the Mists: Essays on Identity and Authority in Precolonial Congo and Rwanda.

Catharine NewburyCatharine Newbury, Five College Professor of Government and African Studies and professor of government at Smith College, explores parallels and contrasts in two cases of violent political transition in “Discourse and Delegitimation: Comparing Rwanda 1959 and 1991” Feb. 17. An expert in multiple aspects of Central African political processes, her research interests include ethnicity and the state in Africa, democratization, the politics of peasants and women, and the politics of violence in Francophone Central Africa. She is the author of The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda.

Each event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:30 p.m. Both lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Sharp Lectures homepage or contact the Clements Department of History, 214-768-2967.