Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
In this dissertation, I examine a variety of Francophone African novels, films, and autobiographies with female and male child-soldiers as main characters. My corpus includes well-known works such as Johnny Mad Dog by Emmanuel Dongola, Allah n'est pas obligé by Ahmadou Kourouma and Ezra by Newton Aduaka, as well as lesser-known works such as Les Anges Cannibales by Jean-Claude Derey and J'étais enfant-soldat by Lucien Badjoko. After explaining the phenomenon, the identity of child soldiers and my use of trauma theory in my introduction, I dedicate a chapter to each medium. In my analysis of the fictional works, I demonstrate how the writers use textual techniques such as intertextuality, repetition, alternating narrators and repetition in order to situate the creation of child soldiers, their trauma and violence in its historical, political and socio-cultural context. I also reveal how these works underscore the need to transmit the child soldier's story orally and textually. In my analysis of cinematic works, I examine how the filmmakers use cinematic techniques such as contrasting spaces to expose the child soldier's horrific experience and its damaging effects on the child and the community, and to transform the spectator into a witness to the child soldier's trauma and violence. In my last chapter, I examine how former child soldiers use their works to exorcise their trauma and draw attention to the real life difficulties linked to the phenomenon such as the difficulties that demobilized child soldiers face and our own ethical viewing and response to the trauma and violence of the child soldier. This dissertation will demonstrate how all these works accord a voice to the child soldier (in their witnessing of his/her traumatic and violent experiences) and offer invaluable insight into the phenomenon and its implications in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Martin Munro, Professor Directing Dissertation; Peter Garretson, University Representative; Alec Hargreaves, Committee Member; Reinier Leushuis, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.