INCORE Accounts of the Conflict Seminar

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Thu Mar 13 16:34:46 GMT 2014

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INCORE Announcement - 24 February 2014

Professor Brandon Hamber
Director of INCORE
Cordially invites you to the next seminar in the
Accounts of the Conflict Seminar Series
Verne Harris
'Remembering, Forgetting and South Africa'

At 12.00 p.m. on Wednesday 19 March 2014
In Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1AF
A light lunch will be served after the seminar at 1.00p.m

RSVP to Janet Farren, JE.Farren at<mailto:je.farren at> or tel 028 7167 5575


Verne Harris offers a seminar that aims to weave a tapestry with three primary threads. Firstly, he explores the concept of 'memory work' in post-apartheid South African contexts and offers an analysis of how this work has been used and abused. Secondly, he mounts the argument that internationally there are strong dominant discourses across the intersecting spacings of transitional justice, human rights archives, and reckoning with the past. The strength of these discourses can close down unorthodox perspectives and fresh lines of enquiry. Thirdly, Harris sets himself the dual goal of identifying such lines of enquiry and teasing out loose threads in the dominant discourses. The result is a provocation ranging from the experiences of his institution, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to the work of deconstruction, from queer theory to the work of scholars like Adam Sitze and Undine Whande, from personal narrative to documentary film-making. Finally, he gives an account of the Mandela Dialogues, a continuing joint Foundation/GIZ Global Leadership Academy project which brings together 26 activists, analysts and functionaries from 10 countries to explore the broader question of archive in contexts of post-conflict and post-oppression. His offering is at once a troubling of dominant discourses and a play with the antonyms of remembering in these discourses.

Verne Harris is currently Director of Research and Archive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa. He has also written extensively on issues of social justice, cultural memory, and reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa. In addition to his work at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, he is an honorary research associate at the University of the Witwatersrand. He participated in a range of structures which transformed South Africa's apartheid public records system, including the African National Congress's Archives Committee, the Arts and Culture Task Group, the Consultative Forum which drafted the National Archives of South Africa Act, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the South African History Archive. Widely published, he is best known for the books Exploring Archives: An Introduction to Archival Ideas and Practice in South Africa (1997, 2000 and 2004), Refiguring the Archive (2002), A Prisoner in the Garden: Opening Nelson Mandela's Prison Archive (2005), and Archives and Justice (2007). He is also the author of two novels, both of which were short-listed for South Africa's M-Net Book Prize. He also compiled the notes and other writings which make up Nelson Mandela's new biography, Conversations with Myself.


Accounts of the Conflict will create an on-line digital archive which will offer long-term storage and preservation of a range of personal accounts relating to life in Northern Ireland and the border region during the period of the conflict.

Individuals, groups and organisations will be able to deposit digital copies of personal accounts with the new archive.

The Accounts of the Conflict project is a 2 year project funded by the European Union's PEACE III programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

The project will be delivered by INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute), based at the University of Ulster. Work on the project commenced in January 2013 and will be completed in December 2014.


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