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Join Chandre Gould and Prof Brian Rappert at the seminar “Transgressive Histories: Possibilities for Absence, Duplication, and Ignorance in Inquiry”

Wednesday, 21 June
15:30 to 17:00

Wits Graduate Centre
Wits University

Savannah Lucas
011 628 3200

This seminar will be of particular interest and relevance to medical students, students of bioethics, historians and other social scientists.

Attempts to remember and record troubled pasts are themselves often beset by difficulties: the limitations in documentary evidence, the reluctance of key individuals to participate, the desire to leave the past in the past, and the potential of histories to fix identities and possibilities are just some of the many challenges. As a result, efforts to represent the past are often situated between disclosure and concealment, and thereby understood as acts of remembering and forgetting.

In this seminar we wish to use Project Coast – South Africa’s former chemical and biological weapons programme – as a case into examining questions about the purpose and possibilities associated with history and memory. In particular, drawing on the recent publication of our book “Dis-eases of Secrecy”, we wish to promote a conversation about how transgressive pasts can be represented in ways that foster lines of inquiry and forms of awareness that open possibilities for understanding ourselves and the world.