Childhood Traumas : Narratives and Representations book cover
1st Edition

Childhood Traumas
Narratives and Representations

ISBN 9781138611924
Published September 29, 2019 by Routledge India
222 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume contributes to understanding childhoods in the twentieth and twenty-firstcentury 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 twentieth 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, and 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.

Table of Contents

List of Figures




1. Poof! Up in Smoke: A Modern Fairy Tale

Kamayani Kumar

2. Colours of Trauma Paint a Thousand Words: "Leaving Tibet" in Paintings by Tibetan Children in India

Anurima Chanda

3. War Babies

Bethany Sharpe

4. ‘Waiting for My Mum to Come Back’: Trauma(tic) Narratives of Australia’s Stolen Generation

Somrita Ganguly

5. Drawing an Account of Herself: Representation of Childhood, Self and the Comic in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

Amrita Singh

6. Cache-Cache: Writing Childhood Trauma

Nancy Ali

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

Vandana Saxena

9. Et tu, Brute? The Child Soldier and the Child Victim in Shobasakthi’s Traitor

Usha Mudiganti

10. Children at War: Child(Hood) Trauma in Popular Japanese Animation

Benjamin Nickl

11. Returning Horror, Re-Visioning Real: Children and Trauma in Grave of the Fireflies

Ritwick Bhattacharjee

12. Coping with Killing? Child Soldier Narratives and Traces of Trauma

Sarah Minslow

13. ‘We Needed the Violence to Cheer Us…’ Losses and Vulnerabilities in Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Rahul Kamble

14. Children of the Trail: The Trauma of Removal and Assimilation

Amit Singh

15. Child/hood and 9/11 Trauma: A Study of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Nishat Haider


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Kamayani Kumar is Assistant Professor, Department of English, Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, India. Her PhD was on Representation of Child, Body, and Nation in Partition Literature from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. She has published several research papers Partition studies, and childhood trauma. She is currently working on a book on Partition and visual culture.

Angelie Multani is Professor Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India. Her PhD was on the politics of performance and production of English Language Theatre in India, from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has published extensively on theatre, Mahesh Dattani, Indian English fiction, and contemporary fiction. Her teaching interests include European drama and fantasy literature.

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