Intimate enemies: representations of perpetrators in literary responses to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda

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Abstract

Hitchcott examines the representation of genocide perpetrators in fictional responses to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Through analysis of texts by African authors, most of them from Rwanda, the chapter considers how authors and readers often find themselves in a position of moral ambivalence in relation to these imagined perpetrators of genocide. Hitchcott shows how questions of empathy and judgement are raised in works of fiction, pushing readers to explore the complexities of the multiple failures of humanity that culminated in the most efficient genocide of the twentieth century. Ultimately, the chapter suggests that fiction invites us to reconsider our moral categories by asking ourselves what we would have done in such extraordinary circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerpetrating Selves
Subtitle of host publicationDoing Violence, Performing Identity
EditorsClare Bielby, Jeffrey Stevenson Murer
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages155-176
ISBN (Electronic)9783319967851
ISBN (Print)9783319967844
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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