Examination board for dissertationDavid Scott Elizabeth A. Povinelli Nadia L. Abu El-Haj
Research interestThe political regularities, suffering and trauma of the colonial / decolonial destabilizing difference
Research partial interest
Historical justice, race and racism, international law and colonialism, Europe and its others, gender and sexuality, psychology and trauma
Western Europe, Southern Africa; Germany, Namibia
Howie is generally interested in the political, legal and psychological grammars through which and through which historical afterlife is articulated, made legible and calculated in and for the present. Why do certain historical aftermaths come into play, and what happens when they are recognized - be it by politicians, lawyers or other 'experts'? What influence do contemporary legal and political formations have on the legibility and illegibility of certain types of historical beyond? How do psychological and psychiatric self-conceptions convey the way in which after-effects are negotiated, recognized and 'repaired'?
In his dissertation he deals with the aftermath of German colonialism and the handling of the federal government with transnational legal and political claims to repair the legacy of the genocide in Namibia. The demands for reparation for European colonialism and the crimes associated with it are growing throughout the global south, demands that often turn to the precedent of German reparations for the victims of the Shoah. But Germany itself is today the target of demands for reparation for a genocide from the colonial era by the government of its former settler colony Namibia after apartheid and by descendants of Herero and Nama genocide victims who are not connected to the Namibian state. What happens when colonial stories in Western courtrooms, negotiating tables and parliaments turn into various reparation claims? How does the legacy of the Shoah shape the way in which demands for repairs are articulated and answered in Europe's powerhouse? How do the history and contemporary practice of white nationalism and white supremacy in Namibia and Germany intersect with these struggles?
Howie's research is funded by a number of grants - including from the Wenner Gren Foundation and the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies. He holds a Diploma in Gender and Sexuality Studies and was a fellow for the Council for European Studies. He has written for news outlets like Al Jazeera and Open Democracy, as well as for organizations like the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
The New School for Social Research, MA in Kulturanthropologie, 2015
King's College, Cambridge University, BA in Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies, 2011