Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005
M.A. in Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998
B.A. in French and Comparative Literature, Boston University, Summa cum laude, 1994
Jennie E. Burnet is the Director of the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a professor in the Department of Anthropology. In 2019, she was a J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. 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 racial violence and their long-term legacies. For more than twenty years, she has researched Rwanda and the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. She has studied (1) organized resistance, rescuer behavior, and rescuers during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; (2) the long-term cultural, social, and psychological consequences of gender-based violence during the conflict on women’s agency; and (3) women’s social movements and women’s roles in democratization, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. Her new book, To Save Heaven and Earth: Rescue in the Rwandan Genocide, was published in 2023 by Cornell University Press.
Her first 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 peace and conflict studies courses, development and refugee studies, anthropology, ethnographic and qualitative research methods, and African politics and culture. She is currently the co-principal investigator on a senior research grant, “Collaborative Research: How do histories of violence shape affect and experience?” from the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Burnet is a member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Victims of Torture-Georgia. From 1995-1999, she served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, USA, where she was 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 testified 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 and served as an expert witness in criminal court. 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.
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
- Honorable Mention, 2015 Aidoo-Snyder Book Award, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association
Selected 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.
Burnet, Jennie E. 2011. “Women Have Found Respect: Gender Quotas, Symbolic Representation and Female Empowerment in Rwanda.” Politics & Gender, 7(3):303-334.
Burnet, Jennie E. 2008. “Gender Balance and the Meanings of Women in Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” African Affairs, 107(428):361-386.
Selected Book Chapters
Burnet, Jennie E. 2019. “Establishing a strong political commitment to gender equity: The politics of Rwanda’s law on the Prevention and Punishment of Gender-Based Violence (2008).” In Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South: The Politics of Domestic Violence Policy, edited by Sohela Nazneen, Sam Hickey, Eleni Sifaki, 88-107. London: Routledge.
Burnet, Jennie E. 2018. “Women’s Political Representation in Rwanda.” In Global Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, edited by Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook, and Netina Tan, 563-576. London: Palgrave.
Burnet, Jennie E. 2018. “Accountability for Mass Death, Acts of Rescue and Silence in Rwanda.” A Companion to the Anthropology of Death edited by Antonius C.G.M. Robben, Chapter 15. New York: Wiley.
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.