Kalema Masua

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Kalema Masua received his M.A. in History from the University of Kinshasa in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Dr. Jean-Marie Mutamba Makombo. Nancy Rose Hunt of the University of Michigan has been an informal mentor for about six years. In the fall of 2010, Kalema presented a paper about how Congolese male medical assistants and doctors have integrated prayer and ritual into biomedical care in colonial and postcolonial clinics at a conference on the history of religion in Leuven, Belgium. Since July 2012, he has been pursuing his doctoral degree at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand. His research concerns war and violence in post-colonial Democratic Republic of Congo, with a focus on the Mulele rebellion in the 1960s. His objective is to focus less on the movement’s formal institutional structure and more on informal social arrangements among the rebels. Addressing the forging of nationhood as well as contests over citizenship, ethnicity, and memory, he aims to demonstrate that understanding Congo’s past requires accounting for death and causes. National, regional, and ethnic consciousnesses are all important and involve idealized and everyday identifications deployed by leaders, rebels, and ordinary citizens. Kalema expects to contest the view that constructing a nation requires eradicating difference; hegemonic foreign interests, that is, are insufficient to explain repetitions in postcolonial violence in Congo.

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