The Marginalised in Genocide Narratives  book cover
1st Edition

The Marginalised in Genocide Narratives

ISBN 9780367728489
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. This volume, the product of over 20years of engagement with Rwanda and its diaspora, offers a timely reminder of the necessity of rethinking the genocide’s social history.

Examining a range of marginal stories and using Rwanda as a case study, The Marginalised in Genocide Narratives’ analysis of the transformation of genocide into a powerful narrative of a nation establishes an innovative means of understanding the lived spaces of violence and its enduring legacy. In a distinctive approach to the social history of genocide, this book engages with the marginalised; foregrounds genocide’s untold stories; and uses the conceptual framework of the constellation of genocide narratives to create connections among multiple social actors and identify narrative themes that address the unequal power and interdependence of narratives.

Adopting a multi-level narrative methodology that addresses the value of multiple narrative framings for understanding genocides, The Marginalised in Genocide Narratives will appeal to students and researchers interested in sociology, conflict and peace studies, history, African studies and narrative research. It may also appeal to policy-makers interested in genocide studies and contemporary social history.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Introduction: narrating genocide and the genocide narrative


Narrating genocides: victims, perpetrators and the marginalised others

The formation of the genocide master–narrative

The constellation of genocide narratives

The Rwandan genocide and Rwanda Studies

Situating narratives methodologically


Chapter 2 The formation of the foundational genocide master-narrative


The formation of the master-narrative of the Genocide against the Tutsi

The genocide as the foundational master-narrative

The counter master-narrative of war

The marginalised voices


Chapter 3 Reframing culpability, shame and guilt: non-perpetrator members of the perpetrator group


Naming culpability, shame and guilt: non-perpetrator members of the perpetrator group

Revisiting moral culpability through ordinary morality

The narrative of national unity and reconciliation: everyday relations and values


Chapter 4 Revisiting the figure of the heroic rescuer: communal rescue, care and resistance


Naming the public figure of the rescuer: individual, exceptional, heroic

From exceptional heroes to communities of care

The communal rescue narrative: care and resistance

The ambivalent legacy of rescuing

Revisiting the figure of the heroic saviour


Chapter 5 Families of mixed ethnic backgrounds: the intimate burden of those caught in-between the politics of ethnic identity


The erasure of the 'mixed' constituent in public narratives

Rethinking the proxy categories of rescapé, génocidaire and orphelin du génocide

Caught in-between: narrating the intimate burden of 'mixed' belonging

The narrative legacy of the genocide

Articulating and reclaiming the 'mixed'


Chapter 6 Marginalisation and survival of the other minority group


Naming the outside onlooker: the Twa

Questioning the onlooker narrative: the insider and the struggle for survival

Post-genocide narratives: from autochthones to historically marginalised

Decentering the genocide narrative: national progress, vulnerability and material survival


Chapter 7 Civilian returnees: intra-ethnic differences and continuities with the past and exile


The Hamitic narrative: histories of mobility and belonging

The hegemony of the RPF-led national narrative and the diverse stories of the civilian returnees

Revisiting the narrative of the 'new' Rwanda: continuities with the past and exile


Chapter 8 The revised constellation of genocide narratives and the untold social history of genocides


The marginalised voices in the revised constellation of genocide narratives

Narrative engagement: agency and dialogical strategies

Rewriting the social history of the genocide that took place in Rwanda

Expanding and applying the constellation of genocide narratives

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Giorgia Donà is Co-director of the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London, UK.