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Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary

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Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary explores the relationship between rape and narratives of violence in francophone literature and culture. The book offers ways to account for the raped bodies beneath the conflicts of slavery, genocide, dictatorship, natural disasters and war—and to examine why doing so is necessary. Through a feminist analysis of the rhetoric and representation of rape in francophone African and Caribbean cultural production, Conflict Bodies examines theoretical, visual, and literary texts that challenge the dominant views of postcolonial violence. Using an interdisciplinary and comparative framework to consider different contexts—Haiti, Guadeloupe, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo—Régine Michelle Jean-Charles illuminates how analyzing survivors’ subjectivities, stories, and embodied experiences provides a nuanced understanding of what is at stake in rape representation. Referencing theories from francophone literary studies, transnational black feminisms, and rape cultural criticism to analyze novels, film, photography, drama, and documentaries, Jean-Charles argues that in today’s global climate—where one in three women worldwide has been raped, rape is being used as a tool of war, and rape myths circulate with vehemence—traditional “scripts of violence” that fail to account for sexual violence demand refusal, re-thinking, and re-imagining.

ISBN-13: 9780814252932

Media Type: Paperback(1)

Publisher: Ohio State University Press

Publication Date: 06-01-2016

Pages: 336

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Series: Transoceanic Series

Régine Michelle Jean-Charles is assistant professor of romance languages and literatures and in the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Boston College.

Table of Contents

Introduction-Can the Subaltern Survivor Speak? The Global Politics of Rape Discourses
Chapter 1-“Bound to Violence?” A History of the Rape Trope in Francophone Studies
Chapter 2-Rethinking Political Rape: Genealogies of Sexual Violence in Haiti
Chapter 3-Islands Unbound: Beyond the Rape of the Land
Chapter 4-Beneath Layers of Violence: Images of Rape and the Rwandan Genocide
Chapter 5-Regarding the Pain of Congolese Women: Narrative Closure, Audience Affect, and Rape as a Tool of War
Epilogue-Not Just (Any) Body Can Be a Global Citizen: Rape and Human Rights Advocacy in the Twenty-First Century