Larissa Begley



2114 Pearson
505 Morrill Rd
Ames IA


Areas of specialization Africa and African American Studies, Cultural Anthropology, conflict and violence, race and ethnicity, the state, resistance, borders, human rights and ethnographic methods. Ph.D (University of Sussex, 2012). As a political anthropologist, my research is dedicated to using anthropological and ethnographic methods to understand the socio-political issues impacting sub-Saharan Africa. My regional specialization is Central-East Africa, specifically Rwanda and Eastern Congo, with a focus in conflict and violence, ethnicity and race, the state, resistance, borders, ethnographic methods, and human rights. Using ethnography to highlight violence as lived experiences, my research is concerned with understanding how the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front use genocide ideology legislation to facilitate a continuum of violence (physical, political, symbolic and structural), which has marginalized Hutu. I argue that within the public RPF transcript on the genocide, the victim/perpetrator dichotomy has become intertwined with Tutsi/Hutu identities. This has created a hierarchy of victimhood, whereby all Hutu are denied the status of “victim” and are criminalized as “genocide perpetrator.” Research also focuses on the role that the Rwandan conflict and the Rwandan Patriotic Front played in contributing to the destabilization of Eastern Congo.