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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32943

Title: Metaphor and Gender in Conflict: Discourse, the Bosnian War, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Chechen Wars
Authors: Lydic, Lauren
Advisor: Hutcheon, Linda
Department: Comparative Literature
Keywords: Metaphor
Gender
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Rwanda
Russia
Chechnya
Bosnian War
Rwandan Genocide
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2012
Abstract: This study considers the ontological value of metaphor as a site of ceaseless interaction among multiple (gendered) subjects, drawing on the theoretical work of Max Black, Victor Turner, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricœur, George Lakoff, and Mark Johnson. Its focus is on the particular function of metaphor, locally and internationally, in three of the “new wars” of the twentieth century. The first chapter examines how the bridge metaphor, undergirded by cultural discourses on Mostar’s Old Bridge and Ivo Andrić’s The Bridge on the Drina, shaped knowledge of gendered experiences in the Bosnian War. The second chapter historicizes the cockroach metaphor, which features in many representations of the Rwandan Genocide, and identifies how “the cockroach” is gendered by metaleptic reference to ubuhake, or pastoral clientship—which gained metaphoric significance through populist movements in the 1950s, when Saverio Naigiziki published The Optimist. The third chapter explores depictions of female civilians, combatants, and suicide-bombers as “prisoners,” considering this metaphor’s gendered variations from Aleksandr Pushkin’s “Prisoner of the Caucasus” to discourses on the Chechen Wars. These three metaphors are of central importance to the production of knowledge about how and in what ways post-cold-war conflicts are gendered. Frequently, the international community objectifies “distant conflicts” through the same metaphors that, for local agents, articulate political self-identifications and enact gendered violence. Locally-initiated metaphors, thusly circulating among multiple discourses, produce interactive sites of semantic investment and imaginary exchange. Global and regional representations in metaphor of the Bosnian War, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Chechen Wars enter into common if asymmetrical networks of geopolitical and temporal interactions structured in part by human rights norms in the 1990s. By tracing the historical, cultural, and modal transformations of bridge, cockroach, and prisoner metaphors, this study investigates how fiction, poetry, journalism, memoir, testimony, film, and performance gender knowledge of the Bosnian War, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Chechen Wars.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32943
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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