PhD Public Defence: Ms. Haydee Bangerezako, MISR

Event Date
Monday, 28 August 2017 - 2:15pm
Event Info

The Director Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) Prof. Mahmood Mamdani cordially invites you to the PhD Public Defence

CANDIDATE: Ms Haydee Bangerezako

THESIS TITLE: Indirect Writing and the production of History in Burundi: Official History and Woman as Mwami

SUPERVISOR: Prof. Mahmood Mamdani

OPPONENT / DISCUSSANT: Prof. Joseph Gahama (East Africa University Rwanda)

ABSTRACT: Connecting indirect writing to indirect rule, the dissertation studies how new historical narratives emerged from the co-authorship and collaborative form of indirect writing in which the colonizer sets the framework and the questions while the colonized provided the flesh. Using Kirundi-language catholic newspapers in the 1940s-1950s, colonial archives, colonial and postcolonial texts, this dissertation studies how new historical narratives contributed to inventing, defining and supporting the political institutions and relations in a colonial
Burundi rooted between the indirect rule and direct rule. As the European colonizer and missionary were constructing the precolonial history alongside the chief as the informant, a new official history was produced that would cater to both the colonizer and the chief's search for legitimacy using the craft of history. The privileging of dynastic history combined with hamitic hypothesis, produced new oral sources pitting 'native' Hutu against 'non-native' Tutsi.

Primarily, history writing became a political and historical task of extending the reign of the Baganwa dynasty, secondly, as women's political roles were brought to an end during the colonial period, historical narratives are produced to locate this in the precolonial. Thirdly, the founding king is located in Rwanda in light of the hamitic hypothesis, but the kingdoms of Rwanda and Burundi are presented as equal and brothers.

The dissertation aims to further decolonize the precolonial historiography by studying overlooked power centres or multiple power loci that crafted the precolonial polity and their representation in both colonial and postcolonial historiography: The Bashingantahe, men of integrity (judges, advisors, mediators and administrators), bapfumu (diviners) and folktale heroes that are part of popular history and how precolonial past is remembered. Thus by studying how the past is remembered by colonial elites in the form of dynastic history vs. oral stories as a form of popular history, the dissertation further analyses how the precolonial is evoked in the 1990s, in the Bashingantahe, as a redemptive institution to postcolonial violence. By combining sources overlooked in the colonial and postcolonial period, this project studies both historical knowledge and historical production and the nature of gender and power in the precolonial and how power operates in the production of certain narratives while silencing others.

For more details visit the MISR Website


Event Venue
Seminar Room 1, Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda
Category by Unit
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Contact Info
Contact Info: 
Eddie Ssemakula, Communications and Publications Coordinator, Makerere Institute of Social Research-MISR, Cell: +256-782-793020, Email; ssemakula.eddie[at]