ANN: Seminar: Histories of the Present. The formation of contemporary world with Bonny Ibhawoh (Centre for Human Rights and Restorative Justice McMaster University, Canada) - 22 June 2023 - 5 pm (GMT). Online

Hugo Gonçalves Dores Discussion


Organization: Hugo Gonçalves Dores (University of Coimbra), Ana Guardião (University of Florence), Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra), José Pedro Monteiro (University of Minho)

When: 22 June 2023

Time: 5:00 pm (GMT)



We invite you to attend a seminar discussion by Bony Ibhawoh on the theme "Historical Atrocities, Truth-Seeking and the Politics of Memory". The abstract of the presentation is included below: 

Bonny Ibhawoh, Historical Atrocities, Truth-Seeking and the Politics of Memory


The growing popularity of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) as mechanisms for redressing historical injustices and atrocities calls for a deeper reflection of the histories they produce. Over fifty truth commissions have been established globally in the past four decades. Although Truth Commissions are established for varied purposes, their primary mandate is to investigate past human rights abuses with the aim of finding the “truth” about their causes, patterns, and consequences. The goal is often to bring justice to victims and redress the wrongs they have suffered. In their effort to redress historical injustices and contemporary human rights violations, many truth commissions have been preoccupied with seeking “impartial histories” of abuse. As more countries, both in the Global South and North, adopt the truth commission model to address historical and contemporary abuses, we need to better understand their value and limitations as mechanisms for justice and historical reconstruction. This paper examines the debates over “history” in the work of Truth Commissions. It explores their quest to produce new histories of atrocities founded on contested collective memories. The talk draws from my new book on “Truth Commissions and State Building”.


* This seminar will take place in an online format. For registration send email to:

This initiative is sponsored by the project Humanity Internationalized: Cases, Dynamics, and Comparisons (PTDC/HAR-HIS/6257/2020).


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