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Jennie E. Burnet

Associate Professor    Associate Director    
Education

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D. in Anthropology, 2005
Master of Arts in Anthropology, 1998
Traineeship in Democracy Studies, 1998

Specializations

War, genocide, and peace. Development studies. Gender, sexuality, and women’s human rights. Race, ethnicity, and identity. Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and East Africa.

Biography

Jennie E. Burnet is an associate professor in the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 and her Bachelor of Arts in French and Comparative Literature from Boston University in 1994. Before joining Georgia State University, she was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky (USA).

Her work explores the social, cultural and psychological aspects of war, genocide, and mass violence and the micro-level impact of large-scale social change in the context of conflict. The majority of her research has focused on changing gender roles, the politics of memory, and local coping mechanisms in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. She is currently conducting research on (1) organized resistance, rescuer behavior, and rescuers during in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; (2) the long-term cultural, social, and psychological consequences of gender-based violence during conflict on women’s agency; and (3) women’s social movements and women’s roles in democratization, conflict resolution, and peace building.

Her book, Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory & Silence in Rwanda, published in 2012 by the University of Wisconsin Press won the 2013 Elliot Skinner Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Her research has appeared in Politics & Gender, African Affairs, and African Studies Review. She teaches courses in peace and conflict studies, development and refugee studies, ethnographic and qualitative research methods, and African politics and culture. She is currently the principal investigator on a senior research grant, “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors in Rescuer Behavior,” from the National Science Foundation Cultural Anthropology Program.

From 1995-1999, she served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, USA, where she held the position of Vice Chairperson, chaired the administration and development committee, and participated as a delegate at the International Council Meeting in Troia, Portugal in 1999. She has also served on the boards of directors of Kentucky Refugee Ministries, a refugee resettlement agency in Louisville, KY; and of Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development, a public policy research and development organization in Kigali, Rwanda. She as served as an expert witness in asylum hearings before the Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security and before U.S. immigration courts. She has conducted public policy research, cultural diversity and gender audits, and program evaluations for CARE-International, Africare, the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation, and others.

Publications

Books

Burnet, Jennie E.  (2012). Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory and Silence in Rwanda. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

  • Winner, 2013 Elliot Skinner Award, Association of Africanist Anthropology
  • Honorable Mention, 2013 Melville J. Herskovits, African Studies Association.

Journal Articles

Bauer, Gretchen and Jennie E. Burnet (2013). “Gender Quotas, Democracy and Women’s Representation in Africa: Some Insights from Democratic Botswana and Autocratic Rwanda.” Women’s Studies International Forum 41(2):103-112.

Burnet, Jennie E. (2012). “Situating Sexual Violence in Rwanda (1990–2001): Sexual Agency, Sexual Consent, and the Political Economy of War.” African Studies Review 55(2):97-118.

Book Chapters

Burnet, Jennie E. (2015). “Rape as a Weapon of Genocide: Gender, Patriarchy, and Sexual Violence in Rwanda.” In Amy E. Randall (Ed.) Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey. Pp. 140-161. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Burnet, Jennie E. (2015). “Genocide, Evil and Human Agency: the Concept of Evil in Rwandan Explanations of the 1994 Genocide.” In William Olsen (Ed.) Evil in Africa. Pp. 75-90. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Burnet, Jennie E. (2015).  “Sorting and Suffering: Social Classification in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” In Jan Shetler (Ed.) Gendering Ethnicity in African Women’s Lives. Pp. 206-230. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

Burnet, Jennie E. (2014). “Sexual Violence, Female Agencies, and Sexual Consent: Complexities of Sexual Violence in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.” In Doris Buss, Joanne Lebert, Blair Rutherford, Donna Sharkey, & Obijiofor Aginam (Eds). Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies. Pp. 131-144. New York: Routledge.