Lauren van der Rede
Current Fellows: English Department, PhD, Early Career Scholar
My Doctoral research project, entitled ‘The Post-Genocidal Condition: Ghosts of Genocide, Genocidal Violence and Representation’, is located at the intersection of genocide studies, psychoanalysis, trauma studies and literature. Within genocide studies, the term is most popularly thought as a phenomenon, which may be read as a consequence both of the writing of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term, and the definition of genocide provided for in international law. However, I propose a different way of thinking genocide, by reading it as a concept, rather than a violent event constituted by a number of acts of genocidal violence. Furthermore, I argue that the development of, what I refer to as, the post-genocidal condition is contingent on the temporalization of genocide. This approach to understanding genocide is enabled by an engagement with various literary texts which attempt to represent genocide and its post-traumatic effects, through which I am able to produce a psychoanalytic reading of the concept. With a focus on “post-genocidal” societies such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Darfur, my doctoral research project is, furthermore, a critical engagement with the ways in which both international law and bodies of transitional justice have attempted to engage the subject.