Course: Children in War: Global Experiences and Consequences

HC 431H

Professor: Shoshana Kerewsky

Children and youth are especially vulnerable to the effects and aftereffects of war. This course explores the experiences of children in wartime primarily through the memoirs of authors whose childhoods included invasion, combat, ethnic targeting, deprivation, dislocation, and other risks. We will examine the physical, psychological, and cultural consequences of war as these authors describe them, as well as their resilience factors and the interventions, if any, that were provided to them.

Additional readings and video will provide a broader perspective on these topics. Other areas of focus include the characteristics of these narratives, colonialism and other forms of cultural aggression similar to war, vicarious trauma, and potential interventions for reducing the harm experienced by children at times of violent cultural upheaval. Memoirs include Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Iraq), I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (Pakistan), A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Serra Leone), When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge (Cambodia), and The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War (Vietnam).