Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-13-2020


This thesis analyzes Boubacar Boris Diop’s Murambi, le livre des ossements and Véronique Tadjo’s L’Ombre d’Imana: voyages jusqu’au bout du Rwanda. I argue that both authors write trauma by employing both a dominant realist style and the trauma aesthetic with attention to the embodied experiences of genocide victims and survivors in both styles. In doing so, each author contributes to impeding indifference surrounding the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Furthermore, I assert that one effect of writing trauma is that of affective unsettlement or affective travel, or the registering of psychic and physical shame and other related affective responses in the reader, which is posited as a more responsive form of reading and witnessing.


Rwanda, Shame, Affect, Diop, Tadjo, Witnessing

Document Type




Degree Name

Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Pamela Cheek

Second Committee Member

Dr. Stephen Bishop

Third Committee Member

Dr. Pim Higginson

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Kimberly Gauderman