Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

    Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, where she holds the South African National Research Foundation Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma and the Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation. She is the 2020-2021 Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Her research interest is in historical trauma and its intergenerational repercussions and exploring what the “repair” of these transgenerational effects might mean. She has published extensively on victims and perpetrators of gross human rights violations, and on forgiveness and remorse. Her books include the critically acclaimed A Human Being Died that Night: A Story of Forgiveness, which has been published seven times, including translations in Dutch, German, Italian and Korean. She is editor and co-author of several other academic publications: Narrating our Healing: Perspectives on Healing Trauma as co-author with Chris van der Merwe; Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past, as co-editor, Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition: A Global Dialogue on Historical Trauma and Memory, as editor; Post-Conflict Hauntings: Transforming Memories of Historical Trauma, as co-editor; and her recently published edited collection on Jewish-German dialogue, History, Trauma and Shame: Engaging the Past Through Second Generation Dialogue.

    Gobodo-Madikizela is an engaged professional with interests extending beyond her academic specialty and she has delivered many public lectures, keynote and endowed lectures globally. Accolades for her work include the Alan Paton Award and the Christopher Award for her book A Human Being Died that Night; the Claude Ake Visiting Chair in the Peace and Conflict Research Department at Uppsala University, Sweden; Distinguished African Scholar at Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies; and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award. In 1995 – 1998, she served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and chaired the Human Rights Violations Committee and its public hearings in the Western Cape. In 2004, she was invited by the Faith & Politics Institute to facilitate a workshop/retreat on “Reconciliation Dialogue” for a group of members of the US House of Representatives at La Casa de Maria Retreat Centre, Santa Barbara, California. In 2005 she was included among “100 People who made a difference” in the Permanent Exhibit of the Hall of Heroes in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre in Cincinnati. In 2008 – 2010, she served on the World Economic Forum’s Council for Human Equality and Respect.