Samuel TottenGenocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan

Transaction Publishers, 2012

by Kelly McFall on July 18, 2014

Samuel Totten

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] Most of the authors I’ve interviewed for this show have addressed episodes in the past, campaigns of mass violence that occurred long ago, often well-before the author was born.

Today’s show is different.

In his book Genocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan (Transaction Publishers, 2012), Samuel Totten addresses the violence against the people of the Nuba Mountains of the Sudan.  This violence was part of a broader civil war and unrest in the Sudan in the 1980s and 90s.  Totten makes a convincing case that, in the Nuba, it reached a level reasonably labeled genocidal.  To demonstrate this, Totten provides a succinct but thorough history of the conflict. But the heart of the book is a series of interviews with victims of the tragedy.  Totten collected the interviews himself and uses them to demonstrate the nature and consequences of the conflict.

Our interview won’t stop with the book, however, for conflict has recently broken out again in the region.  Scholars differ about how to label the new violence (Totten himself prefers to avoid calling the new fighting genocidal).  But there’s no question many of the human tragedies of the 80s and 90s have reemerged.  Totten has written extensively about this new conflict.  We’ll use of one these articles, from the recent issue of Genocide Studies International, as the basis for our discussion of current events.

Totten has been active in the field of genocide studies since its inception and brings an enormous wealth of information and passion to the subject.  I trust the interview will convey his commitment to his discipline and to the victims of the violence he studies.

Also.  I talked with Sam this week and he tells me he’s just finished a major revision of the book we discussed in this interview, almost doubling its length.  The second edition will presumably be out soon.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Donovan ChauExploiting Africa: The Influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania

July 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Donovan Chau is the author of Exploiting Africa: The Influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania (Naval Institute Press, 2014). Chau is an associate professor of political science at California State University. Chau examines China’s role in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania from the 1950s to the 1970s. China used its [...]

Read the full article →

James CopnallA Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan’s Bitter and Incomplete Divorce

June 20, 2014

July 2011 saw that rarest of events – an attempt to resolve a conflict in Africa by the redrawing of borders. It saw the birth of South Sudan as a fully fledged country after decades of conflict going back to the days of independence. It is obviously far too early to say whether this radical [...]

Read the full article →

Susan ThomsonWhispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Postgenocide Rwanda

May 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] This spring, I taught a class loosely called “The Holocaust through Primary Sources” to a small group of selected students. I started one class by asking them the deceptively simple question “When did the Holocaust end?”  The first consensus answer was “1945.”  After some discussion, the students changed their [...]

Read the full article →

Abena Dove Osseo-AsareBitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa

April 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Abena Dove Osseo-Asare’s wonderful new book is a thoughtful, provocative, and balanced account of the intersecting histories and practices of drug research in modern Ghana, South Africa, and Madagascar. Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2014) tells the stories of six plants, [...]

Read the full article →

Sean D. MurphyLitigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission

April 6, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] Professor Sean D. Murphy is the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law at George Washington University and co-author of the book Litigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (Oxford University Press, 2013) with Won Kidane, Associate Professor of Law at the Seattle University Law School, and Thomas R. Snider, an international arbitrator [...]

Read the full article →

Ellen J. AmsterMedicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956

March 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] What is the interplay between the physical human body and the body politic? This question is at the heart of Ellen J. Amster’s Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956  (University of Texas Press, 2013). In this pioneering, interdisciplinary study, Professor Amster explores the French campaign to colonize [...]

Read the full article →

Xolela MangcuBiko: A Life

January 25, 2014

Host Jonathan Judaken speaks with Xolela Mangcu, biographer of Anti-Apartheid leader Steve Biko, about the life and murder of Steve Biko, as well as the struggle for equality in South Africa under Apartheid rule, and how it relates to the Civil Rights Movement in America.    

Read the full article →

Jennie BurnetGenocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory and Silence in Rwanda

December 27, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] In our fast-paced world, it is easy to move from one crisis to another.  Conflicts loom in rapid succession, problems demand solutions (or at least analysis) and impending disasters require a response. It is all we can do to pay attention to the present moment.  Lingering on the consequences [...]

Read the full article →

Jennifer SessionsBy Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria

December 21, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Early modern European imperialism is really pretty easy to understand. Spain, Portugal, England, France, Russia and the rest were ruled by people whose business was war. They were conquerors, and conquering was what they did. So, when they attacked and subdued vast stretches of the world, they did so without regret [...]

Read the full article →