Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice. Inform yourself about the current status on u:find and check your e-mails regularly.

Please read the information on https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

Warning! The directory is not yet complete and will be amended until the beginning of the term.

135823 KO KO: ‘Black Skin, White Bones’ : Rwanda 1994 and Humanity’s Collective Memory(cide) (2021S)

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 32 participants
Language: English



Kickoff is on March, 11, 2020


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course Summary

How have works of art (fiction/faction, comics, documentaries, movies, music etc.) addressed the Rwandan genocide and contributed to the culture of ‘re-membering’ and the politics of global ethics? Whose voices should be given primary attention in this well ‘marketed’ topic ? How instrumental have ‘world’ media been on denouncing or silencing the massive killings in Rwanda while humanity " is glued to the World Cup that’s taking place in the United States, and they’re indifferent to our deaths! " ? What role can institutions of remembering such as the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre, Kigali and the Murambi Genocide Memorial play in re-constituting, repenting and reconciling? Through which theoretical lens can one read artistic projects which target a collective social, human and relational therapy ? In a comparative perspective, with regard to cultural memory, can one, for example, establish patterns between the Rwandan genocide and the Cambodian Genocide ? These are some of the questions that this advanced course centered on INTENSIVE and CRITICAL reading will address keeping in mind the entanglements between Rwanda 1994, the world and humanity’s collective memory(cide).


1. To draw attention to the biggest genocide after the holocaust through artistic works.
2. To encourage you, my co-teachers to develop critical reading, critical thinking and critical handling.
3. To develop comparative research and presentation skills.
4. To bring to light the entanglements between Rwanda and the ‘world’ represented by the United Nations.
5. To enforce a sense of common responsibility and shared heritage.


Selected novels in English and French; essays; reports; critical analytical papers; movies; songs on the genocide and theoretical works from thinkers against the ‘Canon’ will be read/listened to and viewed in small groups and discussed in class.


1. Active participation in class.
2. Group work throughout the semester.
3. Group research and oral presentations on selected topics.
4. Short counselling sessions with groups during the research.
5. Writing of a group study diary and contributing to (y)our course blog.

Assessment and permitted materials

Group oral presentations; study diary; submission of a short report; engagement in class discussions and a group oral examination.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Expectations on my co-teachers and breakdown of the final grade

1. Regular and active participation in class and contribution to the course blog
2. Group oral presentations (20%).
3. Submission of the group study diary at the end of the semester (20%).
4. Submission of a 2 pages report on another group’s presentation (10%).
5. Oral group examination at the end of the semester (50%).

Examination topics

Group oral presentations; study diary; submission of a short report; engagement in class discussions and a group oral examination.

Reading list

Reading list (No worries ! To be read/shared in groups!)

Bilingual Literary Corpus


Bazambanza, Rupert. 2009. A Smile through the Tears. Soul Asylum Poetry.
Combres, Elizabeth. 2011. Broken Memory: A Novel of Rwanda. Groundwood books.
Diop, Boubacar Boris & Mc Laughlin, Fiona (translator). 2016. Murambi, the Book of Bones. Indiana University Press.
Ilibagiza, Immaculée & Irwin, Steve. 2006. Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Genocide. Hay House.
Mukasonga, Scholastique & Mauthner, Melanie (translator). 2014. Our Lady of the Nile. Archipelago.
Mukasonga, Scholastique & Stump, Jordan (translator). 2016. Cockroaches. Archipelago
Tadjo, Véronique. 2015. The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda. Waveland Pr Inc.


Bazambanza, Rupert. 2004. Sourire malgré tout. Éditions images.
Diop, Boubacar Boris. 2020. Murambi, le Livre des Ossements. Zulma.
Faye, Gaël. 2016. Petit Pays. Grasset et Fasquelle.
Kossi Efoui. 2008. Solo d’un Revenant. Seuil.
Monénembo, Tierno. 2005. L'aîné des Orphelins. Seuil.
Mukasonga, Scholastique. 2012. Notre Dame du Nil. Gallimard.
Mukasonga, Scholastique. 2014. Inyenzi ou les Cafards. Folio.
Tadjo, Véronique. 2000. L’Ombre d’Imana: Voyages jusqu'au bout du Rwanda. Actes Sud.
Waberi, Abdourahman. 2004. Moisson de Crânes. Groupe Privat/Le Rocher.

Theoretical Reading

Fanon, Frantz & Philcox, Richard (translator). 2008. Black Skin. White Masks. Grove Press.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. 2009. Re-membering Africa. East African Educational Publishers.
Samanea, Karfalt. 2020. « Black skin, white bones: a vicious temporal cycle », Unpublished Seminar Paper, University of Bayreuth

Movies and Documentaries

Terry, George, (director). 2004. Hotel Rwanda. United Artists & Lion Gates Films.
Peck, Raoul, (director). 2005. Sometimes in April. HBO Films.
Blick, Hugo. 2018. ‚Black Earth Rising’. BBC & Netflix.
Barker, Greg, (writer, producer, director). 2004. Ghosts of Rwanda. Frontline, BBC & Silverbridge Productions.
Greenberg, Peter & Kagame, Paul. 2018. Directed by John Geist. Rwanda: The Royal Tour. Check Six Productions.


Corneille. 2002. Parce qu’on vient de loin. Wagram Music.
Faye, Gaël & Sarr, Julia. 2013. Pilipili sur un Croissant au Beurre. 6D Production.

Association in the course directory


Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26