Research profile: Madelaine Hron

Madelaine Hron, associate professor in the English and film studies department, has spent years researching on topics of human rights and humanities, with a main interest on the genocide in Rwanda. “My main area of interest that I’m working on is the genocide of Rwanda. I’m working on how it is being represented in literature and film,” she said. “How do we understand genocide and genocide in Africa through these films and books?”

Among her other work, she writes mostly about torture and murderers, “I did a lot of work on torture and how torture is represented in books and films, how [pop culture] really actually makes torture seem normal and glorious.”

Making a trip to Rwanda last year, Hron discussed meeting those who took part in the genocide and talking to them about restorative justice. “That was really interesting because I’ve never met mass murderers before. It’s really different once you have met them, it’s really different studying them in films and books and then meeting them in person.”

Throughout her work, Hron questioned what she was meant to do, “I was always kind of torn, should I be an activist or an academic?” she said. “When I was working with people and teaching kids, I really missed books, I really missed reading and thinking, whereas when I’m an academic, I can still do activist stuff.”

She explained her role in the classroom at Laurier, where she teaches courses including post-colonial literature. “For me, the best part of teaching is when you guys decide to go out and be activists, you decide to go and change the world,”she said.