Ronald Niezen, "The Memory Seeker" (Black Rose Writing, 2023)


The Memory Seeker is a novel that, drawing upon Professor Ronald Niezen's background in researching human rights, takes on the experiences of war violence and its aftermath, the vagaries of memory, and the incompleteness of courtroom justice.

When Dutch-Canadian Peter Dekker is hired as an investigator by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, he has no inkling of the war crimes that lie in his own family's history. His work takes him to Timbuktu, where he collaborates with Malian colleagues to document war crimes from a recent and only partly-ended civil war. While he is on assignment, his live-in girlfriend, Nora, gets to know Peter's estranged aunt living in The Hague, and uncovers a dark history of murder, revenge and collaboration with the Nazi occupiers. As the stories of his family under Nazi rule unfold and the intrigues multiply, Peter is confronted with a war crime in which he finds himself next-of-kin rather than an investigator. 

A work of fiction that draws upon Niezen's ethnographic expertise, The Memory Seeker unsettles assumptions of past, present, and future for those engaging with the process of war crimes investigation.

Professor Ronald Niezen is a Professor of Practice in the Departments of Sociology and of Political Science /International Relations at the University of San Diego. Ron previously taught at McGill University for nearly 20 years and at Harvard for 10 years. 

Dr. Rine Vieth is a researcher studying how the UK Immigration and Asylum Tribunals consider claims of belief, how claims of religious belief are evidenced, and the role of faith communities in asylum-seeker support.

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Rine Vieth

Dr. Rine Vieth holds a PhD in Anthropology at McGill University, where they studied how asylum tribunals in the UK consider claims on the basis of belief.

Their research interests include state governance, human rights, bureaucracy, and religion, with a particular emphasis on how people understand and experience law.

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