Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

Key Features

Explore Kigali.
The program is based in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. Kigali is home to many commissions, organizations, and government bodies related to the program’s study of post-genocide restoration and peacebuilding. A major genocide memorial and information center is located in the neighborhood of Gisozi.

Kigali is a medium-sized modern city in which clear signs of a successful recovery from the devastating impact of the 1994 genocide are visible. However, parts of the city also reflect the poor living conditions many Rwandans still endure. Kigali’s neighborhoods stretch out over the many hills on which the city was built, which provide breathtaking views over the city and the surrounding valleys.

Attend thematic seminar on post-genocide restoration and peacebuilding.
The program’s thematic seminar features lectures by leading Rwandan academics and professionals working in the areas of genocide studies, peacebuilding, and development.

Key topics of study include:

  • The origins of conflict, ethnicity, and genocidal outbreak in Rwanda
  • The social and psychological impact of genocide on survivors and their descendants
  • National and international involvement in genocide prevention and peacebuilding
  • Interrelations between peace, justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness
  • Refugees and displaced people in post-conflict environments
  • The institutional and collective strategies of remembrance or forgetting, and strategies to fight denial
  • Rwandan history and culture

Students on excursion to visit to Millennium Village Project

Study the Kinyarwanda language.
Students receive intensive instruction in Rwanda’s official language, Kinyarwanda. Formal instruction in the classroom is complemented by experiential sessions on shopping, dining out, and Rwandan cooking and music. Students are able to improve their language skills by speaking with their host families and through interactive assignments.

Acquiring a basic knowledge of Kinyarwanda is important for entry into Rwandan culture, and it helps students conduct the field research for their Independent Study Project.

Learn field techniques and methodologies for working with topics surrounding genocide.
The program’s field study seminar introduces students to the fundamentals of research tools and the ethical norms of doing research in a post-conflict environment. As part of the course, students engage in briefing and debriefing sessions to process their experiences surrounding the memorial visits.

Genocide memorial site at the National University of Butare

Complete an independent research project.
Students complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) that gives them an opportunity to explore a topic, community, or situation related to the post-conflict transformation that particularly interests them. The ISP is conducted in consultation with the program’s academic director, lecturers, and practitioners.

Sample topics for the ISP include:

  • Refugees and displaced people in the Great Lakes Region
  • Approaches to nation building
  • Transnational conflicts and their impact on economic and social development
  • Language and identity
  • Issues surrounding collective memory and memorials
  • Democracy and freedom of speech in post-genocide environments

Although certain topics and geographical areas may not be permitted, projects can be conducted in a wide range of locations and on a wide range of topics in Rwanda.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Kigali

Language Study: Kinyarwanda

Prerequisites: Coursework in conflict theories recommended.

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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