Questioning the trauma. Mental disorders among African fighters (20th – 21st centuries)
To send a proposal: https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/ecas2023/p/12575
This panel aims to question the notion of “war trauma” by confronting it with the contrasting experiences of African fighters (men and women) during the 20th and 21st centuries. It will discuss the plurality of experiences and psychological manifestations, modes of care and forms of recognition in contemporary African societies.
Few research works have focused on mental disorders among African fighters, whether they were contracted during world conflicts, wars of decolonization, “civil wars” or even terrorist actions throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Nevertheless, these plural contexts offer a variation of situations that invite us to study mental disorders related to war and combat experiences through different perspectives.
This panel would like to adopt an approach going beyond the normative framework defined by historical works focused on major European conflicts and medical care of “war traumas”. It aims to bring together researches on: experiences of mental disorders by African fighters (men and women); mental care delivered by medical and military institutions, but also by families, healers and religious institutions; the moral and sociopolitical (non-)recognition of these experiences, and its consequences on fighters, their psyche and transmission of their memories.
Although this panel is positioned in the historical field, approaches from all social sciences are welcome and multidisciplinary analyses on the research materials are particularly awaited. Interventions may concern fighters from all the African continent and its islands, regardless of the conflict zones adressed.