Engaging the Other: Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition

Third International Multidisciplinary Conference

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

New Education Building, Main Campus

5-8 December 2012

What are the manifestations of intergenerational transmission of trauma in individuals, families and in communities with history of suffering gross human rights violations and systematic dehumanization? Does the memory of trauma experienced collectively “end”? How might we shift the focus of research from the individual to trauma’s impact in larger social contexts? How does one heal the enduring effects of these traumas, and move people from both sides of history towards human solidarity and intergenerational empathy? What are some of the strategies that have been used across cultures to disrupt the intergenerational transmission of trauma and maximise healing for future generations? What insights might be drawn from the global trend of reconciliation in order to deepen and expand our understanding of the critical elements necessary for the development of empathy between victims/survivors and perpetrators? What are the limitations of these cross- cultural strategies of reconciliation? These are some of the questions that will be explored by an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners at the conference entitled “Engaging the Other: Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition.”

The conference will offer a unique opportunity to listen to scholars who have introduced new avenues of inquiry in the field of transgenerational effects in the aftermath of extreme violence from different subject positions, including the perspectives of bystanders, survivors, perpetrators and their descendants. Conference discussion will move from the epicenter of the most traumatic historical events to interdisciplinary reflection on how societies and smaller groups of people affected by these histories have engaged with processes of working through the trauma as an attempt to create new cycles of repetition –empathic connection with the Other.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Chair of Conference Organising Committee

Delegates interested in sightseeing in Bloemfontein and the Free State at the end of the conference can visit our accommodation page for tours on offer.

Ground Transportation

Service providers affiliated with the University of the Free State.

  1. Mangaung Excellent
    Email: info@mangaungexcellentshuttle.co.za
    Mobile Phone: (+27) (0)72 630 6210
  2. Mothebe Shuttle
    Email: info@mothebe.co.za
    Mobile Phone: (+27) (0) 83 660 8364
    Phone: (+27) (0) 51 522 2349 (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)