Amherst College Expert to Discuss South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission April 9

Submitted on Friday, 3/22/2013, at 10:28 AM

March 22, 2013

AMHERST, Mass. — Adam Sitze, assistant professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought, will deliver the annual Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture on Tuesday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m. in Amherst College’s Alumni House. The talk, titled “Rethinking South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” will be followed by a reception. Both events are free and open to the public.

At Amherst, Sitze teaches courses on law and literature, psychoanalysis, colonial law and philosophy of law. He has published essays in journals such as The South Atlantic Quarterly, American Imago, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, Theory & Event, Theoria (Natal, South Africa), Filosofia politica (Bologna, Italy) and Law, Culture, and the Humanities, among others, and in edited volumes such as The Limits of Law; Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency; Violence/Nonviolence: African Perspectives; States of Violence and Political Theology and Early Modernity. In 2010, he edited and wrote the introduction for Carlo Galli’s Political Spaces and Global War, which was named by The Huffington Post as one of the “Best Books of 2010 on Social and Political Awareness.” He also recently wrote the foreword for Raffaele Laudani’s forthcoming Disobedience in Western Political Thought, and is co-editor, with Timothy Campbell of Cornell University, of The Biopolitics Reader, also forthcoming.

Sitze’s book on South Africa’s Truth Commission, called The Impossible Machine: A Genealogy of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will be published this summer by The University of Michigan Press. Supported by a 2008-9 ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, the study takes a fresh look at the TRC’s legal, political, and cultural origins. “Beautifully written and engaging to read,” writes Fiona Ross of The University of Cape Town, “[Sitze’s book] will be a significant contribution to the corpus of political, legal, and philosophical work on transitional justice and postcolonial justice more generally, will have a wide audience and is likely to reshape the field of transitional and postcolonial justice studies.” According to Heinz Klug, of The University of Wisconsin Law School, Sitze’s book “makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the origins and historical location of the South African TRC and poses important questions to both scholars of transitional justice as well as scholars and practitioners of South African law and legal history.”

The Lazerowitz Lectureship is awarded each year to support and encourage members of the Amherst College faculty in their scholarly work. The dean of the faculty, in conjunction with the Lecture Committee, selects a member of the faculty below the rank of full professor to receive the prize and then present a talk on his or her research. The lectureship was established in 1985 to honor the parents of the late Morris Lazerowitz, professor emeritus of philosophy at Smith College.

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Peter Rooney
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prooney@amherst.edu