This book brings together a variety of perspectives to explore the role of literature in the aftermath of political conflict, studying the ways in which writers approach violent conflict and the equally important subject of peace. Essays put insights from Peace and Conflict Studies into dialog with the unique ways in which literature attempts to understand the past, and to reimagine both the present and the future, exploring concepts like truth and reconciliation, post-traumatic memory, historical reckoning, therapeutic storytelling, transitional justice, archival memory, and questions about victimhood and reparation. Drawing on a range of literary texts and addressing a variety of post-conflict societies, this volume charts and explores the ways in which literature attempts to depict and make sense of this new philosophical terrain. As such, it aims to offer a self-conscious examination of literature, and the discipline of literary studies, considering the ability of both to interrogate and explore the legacies of political and civil conflict around the world. The book focuses on the experience of post-Apartheid South Africa, post-Troubles Northern Ireland, and post-dictatorship Latin America. The recent history of these regions, and in particular their acute experience of ethno-religious and civil conflict, make them highly productive contexts in which to begin examining the role of literature in the aftermath of social trauma. Rather than a definitive account of the subject, the collection defines a new field for literary studies, and opens it up to scholars working in other regional and national contexts. To this end, the book includes essays on post-1989 Germany, post-9/11 United States, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sierra Leone, and narratives of asylum seeker/refugee communities. This volume’s comparative frame draws on well-established precedents for thinking about the cultural politics of these regions, making it a valuable resource for scholars of Comparative Literature, Peace and Conflicts Studies, Human Rights, Transitional Justice, and the Politics of Literature.

chapter |16 pages


Post-Conflict Literature?
ByChris Andrews, Matt McGuire

part |64 pages

Northern Ireland

chapter |12 pages

Tragedy and Transitional Justice

Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy
ByMatt McGuire

chapter |12 pages

‘Absent and yet Somehow Still Present'

Representing the Irish Disappeared in Contemporary Photography and Fiction
ByStefanie Lehner

chapter |13 pages

‘My Narrative Falters, as it Must'

Rethinking Memory in Recent Northern Irish Fiction
ByCaroline Magennis

chapter |13 pages

Egg and Sky

Two Ways of Remembering the Northern Ireland Conflict in Deirdre Madden's One by One in the Darkness
ByRichard Rankin Russell

chapter |12 pages

Stories from Inside

The Prisons Memory Archive
ByCahal McLaughlin

part |38 pages

South Africa

chapter |13 pages

The Postmodern Truths of J. M. Coetzee

ByJames Gourley

chapter |11 pages

Lyric Arrest

South African Poetry after Apartheid
ByJarad Zimbler

chapter |12 pages

Haunted Imaginaries

The Anxiety of Influence in Nadine Gordimer's Fiction
ByTony Simoes da Silva

part |55 pages

South America

chapter |17 pages

From Private Memory to Public Memory

Transitional Justice and the Revision of Official Memory of the Dirty War in Argentina
ByMichael Humphrey, Estela Valverde

chapter |17 pages

Transvestites and Traitors in Felix Bruzzone's Los Topos

Resisting the Symbolic Realization of the Junta's Genocide Project in Argentina 1
ByAna Ros, Mariana Grajales

part |51 pages

Other Contexts

chapter |12 pages

After the Fall

Marking Trauma in Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers
ByShane Alcobia-Murphy

chapter |10 pages

Family Reunion

The Potential of Digital Storytelling and the Tracing Files of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service
ByMilissa Deitz

chapter |14 pages

Justice, the Confessional and the Violin

Objects and Object-Mediated Relations of Loss in Jaume Cabré's Confessions
ByMagdalena Zolkos