Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Africana Research Center

Irene Kemunto Momanyi

Irene Kemunto Momanyi

Irene Kemunto Momanyi

Dual-title Ph.D. candidate in French and Francophone Studies, and African Studies
228 Burrowes Building, University Park, 16802

I am a fourth year dual-title PhD candidate in French and Francophone Studies, and African Studies. My current research interests include Francophone Literatures, postcolonial theory, and trauma and memory studies.

My dissertation examines representations of trauma and memory in different narrative forms – novels, autobiographies, and short stories – written by Africans about the Tutsi genocide. Recognizing that memory transverses genre, national, geographical, and historical boundaries, I propose a comparative project that brings the narratives written by Rwandans into conversation with those that are written by other African authors on the Tutsi genocide. Thus, my project questions universalizing definitions of trauma and proposes other representational techniques employed by these authors to bear witness to genocide trauma. It also gives us a more enlarged picture about how Africans talk about the Tutsi genocide, stressing the necessity to decenter trauma theories and genocide discourse by focusing on narratives that are otherwise overlooked by critical work on trauma and memory studies.