Race relations, violence in the Congo to be topic of annual Catlin Memorial Lecture, April 3

February 5, 2013


turshenBloustein School professor Meredeth Turshen, whose research interests include women’s health and armed conflict, will present the school’s annual Robert A. Catlin Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. This year’s lecture will be “Race Relations, Gender, and Violence in the Congo.”

A peace treaty was signed in 2003, but fighting continues in the eastern provinces of the Congo where Rwandan-backed troops are marauding to gain control of resource-rich territory around Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province. Violent race and gender relations, beginning with the slave trade and continuing through European exploitation of the land for rubber, ivory, gold, diamonds, copper and palm oil, have destroyed Congolese lives and livelihoods over the past century and a half. Six million deaths have occurred since 1998 and nearly 1,100 rapes are recorded daily. Conquest and colonialism are the historic center of the processes shaping contemporary patterns of violence in the Congo. The violence of Belgian rule, with the complicity of European and North American governments and corporations, form the backdrop to current events. Tracing race and gender relations through decades of colonial and corporate misrule, Meredeth Turshen will recount the deterioration of women’s status, women’s health and women’s work in eastern Congo.

In addition to research interests of women’s health and armed conflict, Professor Turshen specializes in international public health policy. She has written four books, The Political Ecology of Disease in Tanzania (1984), The Politics of Public Health (1989), and Privatizing Health Services in Africa (1999), all published by Rutgers University Press, and Women’s Health Movements: A Global Force for Change (2007) published by Palgrave Macmillan. She has edited six other books, Women and Health in Africa (Africa World Press, 1991),Women’s Lives and Public Policy: The International Experience ( with Briavel Holcomb, Greenwood, 1993), What Women Do in Wartime: Gender and Conflict in Africa (with Clotilde Twagiramariya, Zed Books, 1998), which was translated into French (L’Harmattan, 2001), African Women’s Health (Africa World Press, 2000), The Aftermath: Women in Postconflict Transformation(Zed Books, 2002), and African Women: A Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). She received the University’s Leadership in Diversity Award in 2007 and the Jerome Rose Teaching Award in 2009. She is currently working on a new book about the persistence of violence in the Congo.

The Robert A. Catlin Memorial Lecture honors the legacy of Robert A. Catlin, Bloustein School professor, who died in July 2004. Catlin began his career as a staff planner for governmental agencies and community organizations in several cities, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York. He also served as dean of the College of Social Science at Florida Atlantic University, dean of the Camden College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers, and provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Bakersfield. He was inducted as an AICP Fellow in 2001. At the Bloustein School, he specialized in urban revitalization and the impact of race in public policy decision-making.

The lecture will be held at the Special Events Forum, Civic Square Building, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ. A reception will follow the lecture. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 26 to Amy Cobb by e-mail to RSVP@ejb.rutgers.edu or by phone to 848-932-2733.

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