Prof. Derek Peterson Lecture:RENOVATING HISTORY IN IDI AMIN'S UGANDA

Date

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Event Details

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences in conjunction with the Department of History, Archaeology and Heritage Studies cordially invite you to a Lecture by Professor Derek Peterson from the University of Michigan, USA. The lecture titled, "Renovating History in Idi Amin's Uganda" will take place on Tuesday, 28th January 2020 in the Quality Assurance Telepresence Centre, Senate Building starting at 2:00pm.

*Abstract
The lecture will focus on an obscure, unremarkable bureaucrat, a man named John Tumusiime, who from 1972 to 1976 was the 'Culture Officer' of Kigezi. Over the course of years Tumusiime conceived, financed, organized, and built several institutions, a museum, a monument that preserved local history. He worked with fragile and transient things. The building of memorials in Uganda as everywhere else has always been a struggle to cheat time of its spoils. It requires impervious materials, concrete, wire fences, brass plaques, glass display cases to transform the great events of the age into turning points on the historical record. All of it is hard work. Repairs are always needed. And especially in places where things like concrete and wire is in short supply it needs human ingenuity, self-sacrifice, and dedication to achieve the 'museum effect'.

Where did John Tumusiime and other of Uganda's Culture Officers find their vocation from? Why, at a time when government and economy were so dysfunctional, at a time when tens of thousands of people were killed by the malevolent agents of state security, did earnest and high-minded men and women invest themselves in the work of cultural recovery?

*Biography
Derek Peterson is Professor of History at the University of Michigan and a research associate of the School of Social Sciences, Makerere University. He is the author of 'Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival: A History of Dissent', which won the African Studies Association's best book award in 2013. He is one of the curators behind 'The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin: Photographs from the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation', an exhibition which recently closed at the Uganda Museum and will soon be on display in Soroti and in Arua.

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