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Course | LUCIS Short Stay Visiting Scholar Masterclass

Political Violence and Process of Reconciliation in Morocco: the Power of Testimony and the Limits of Postcolonial Theory

  • Zakaria Rhani
Wednesday 2 October 2019
Open for everyone, registration required. Free Lunch afterwards.
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
A commemorative ceremony for the victims of the 1981 uprisings in Casablanca

Are you interested in transitional justice? And in particular, the reconciliation process that followed decades of political violence in Morocco, also known as the "Years of Lead"? Then this Masterclass is for you! Together with professor Zakaria Rhani you will explore the power of testimony and the limits of postcolonial theory through a discussion of postcolonial explanations of the history of political violence and the anthropological examination of testimonies given at the Equity and Reconciliation Commission.

As part of the Moroccan process of political reconciliation, led by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission, new documents and unpublished testimonies have been collected. The anthropological scrutiny of these testimonies allows shedding light on several gray areas of the Kingdom’s postcolonial history – notably, sociopolitical conflicts and political violence. The analysis challenges, on the one hand, the postcolonial explanations of the history of political violence – explanations that dilute the state violence in a more global history of colonialism. It elucidates, on the other hand, that the notion of biopolitics is insufficient to account for this state violence, which is tantamount to a “thanatopolitics” whose final end is the physical liquidation of the political bodies, rather than their inscription in control and disciplinary devices and practices.

If you want to know more join Zakaria Rhani in this masterclass! 

About Zakaria Rhani

Zakaria Rhani holds a Ph.D. in Biology (University of Geneva, 2000) and a Ph.D. in Anthropology (University of Montreal, 2009). He has been a visiting professor in different Universities and Research Institutes, notably Princeton University, Bologna University, EHESS (Paris).  He is currently a professor of anthropology and social sciences at Mohammed V University, Rabat. His research focuses notably on: Political and Religious Processes in Muslim Societies; Social Movements, Political Violence, and Practices of Reconciliation in North Africa; Critical Anthropology of Post/Colonial Knowledge. Zakaria Rhani is the author of Le pouvoir de guérir : mythe, mystique et politique au Maroc (Leiden, 2014); “Genealogy of Power and Power of Genealogy in Morocco: Imaginary, History and Politics” (Edinburgh, 2014, edited volume); “The Forbidden Orient! Endo-exotism and Anti-anthropological Nationalism…” (Leiden, 2015, edited volume). He is also the co-editor of Politiques du Corps (Rabat, 2018) and Le Maroc au présent ; d’une époque à l’autre, une société en mutation (Casablanca, Rabat, 2015, 2016)

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