The award committee specifically recognized that, “The essay blends ethnographic research and theoretical analysis in a study about the social-linguistic significance of naming in conceptions of the Rwandan genocide. The project contributes to the fields of socio-linguistics, ethnography, and rhetoric. Mara synthesizes ethnographic research focused on the Rwanda community in Toronto, current studies on the Rwanda genocide, and social-linguistic theories to draw a set of fascinating conclusions about the process of naming acts of violence and the language-power complexes that underlie such powerful cultural processes. Mara’s engagement with theoretical texts is both capacious and nuanced. … The essay is well-argued, clearly written, and provocative enough to ignite interesting conversations and debates.”
Since 1969, the African Studies Program has awarded the A.C. Jordan Prize to a UW-Madison graduate student for the year’s best paper on Africa.
The award will be announced at the first Africa at Noon on September 4, and Mara will present the paper at Africa at Noon in January.