This volume contributes to understanding childhoods in the 20th and 21st century by offering an in-depth overview of children and their engagement with the violent world around them. The chapters deal with different historical, spatial, and cultural contexts, yet converge on the question of how children relate to physiological and psychological violence.
The 20th century has been hailed as the ‘century of the child’ but it has also witnessed an unprecedented escalation of cultural trauma experienced by children during the two World Wars, Holocaust, Partition of the Indian subcontinent, and Vietnam War. The essays in this volume focus on victimized childhood during instances of war, ethnic violence, migration under compulsion, rape, and provide insights into how a child negotiates with abstract notions of nation, ethnicity, belonging, identity, and religion. They use an array of literary and cinematic representations — fiction, paintings, films, and popular culture — to explore the long-term effect of violence and neglect on children. As such, they lend voice to children whose experiences of abuse have been multifaceted, ranging from genocide, conflict and xenophobia to sexual abuse, as also consider ways of healing.
With contributions from across the world, this comprehensive book will be useful to scholars and researchers of cultural studies, literature, education, education policy, gender studies, child psychology, sociology, political studies, childhood studies, and those studying trauma, conflict and resilience.
List of Figures
1. Poof! Up in Smoke: A Modern Fairy Tale
2. Colours of Trauma Paint a Thousand Words: "Leaving Tibet" in Paintings by Tibetan Children in India
3. War Babies
4. ‘Waiting for My Mum to Come Back’: Trauma(tic) Narratives of Australia’s Stolen Generation
5. Drawing an Account of Herself: Representation of Childhood, Self and the Comic in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis
6. Cache-Cache: Writing Childhood Trauma
7. Negotiating Trauma: The Child Protagonist and State Violence in Midnight’s Children and Cracking India
Someshwar Sati and Chinmaya Lal Thakur
8. Quest into the Past: Heroic Quest and Narrative of Trauma in Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose
9. Et tu, Brute? The Child Soldier and the Child Victim in Shobasakthi’s Traitor
10. Children at War: Child(Hood) Trauma in Popular Japanese Animation
11. Returning Horror, Re-Visioning Real: Children and Trauma in Grave of the Fireflies
12. Coping with Killing? Child Soldier Narratives and Traces of Trauma
13. ‘We Needed the Violence to Cheer Us…’ Losses and Vulnerabilities in Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
14. Children of the Trail: The Trauma of Removal and Assimilation
15. Child/hood and 9/11 Trauma: A Study of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close