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College of Arts & Sciences
Walker Institute

USIP Lecture Series: "Peacebuilders or Spoilers?: South Sudanese Youth’s Role in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Nation-Building"

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 3:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Marisa O. Ensor, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Location: Lumpkin Auditorium, 8th Floor, Darla Moore School of Business


Abstract: On 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest independent state. In spite of adverse circumstances and multiple challenges, South Sudanese youth demonstrate remarkable determination in their efforts to overcome a turbulent climate of social instability, deprivation and conflict. Young people have often been the focal point of the many processes that characterize the rapidly changing South Sudanese scene. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in South Sudan, Egypt and northern Uganda, this lecture analyses the challenges and opportunities facing South Sudanese youth in their efforts to contribute to the prosperity and sustainability of their newly independent nation.


Dr. Marisa O. Ensor is an applied and socio-legal anthropologist with broad interests in forced and voluntary migration, human rights, and humanitarianism, and a focus on childhood, youth, and gender. She is currently based at the Department of Anthropology and the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict of the University of Tennessee. Her recent publications include the edited volumes African Childhoods: Education, Development, Peacebuilding and the Youngest Continent (2012), Children and Migration: At the Crossroads of Resiliency and Vulnerability (2010), with Elżbieta M. Goździak. Her on-going longitudinal research in South Sudan and northern Uganda examines the interconnections between displacement, transitional justice and sustainable peace, as differentially experienced by young returnees and local youth.