Call for Panelists: Narrating Terror: Boko Haram Terrorism in Literature, Film, and Media

deadline for submissions: 
January 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Chijioke K Onah/2022 Lagos Studies Association Annual Conference
contact email: 

There is a burgeoning of academic literature on Boko Haram since the inception of the group in 2009. Many of these studies have taken on a social science analytical perspective to understand “the why” of Boko Haram terrorism. Building on these studies, this panel takes a more humanistic and cultural studies approach to the study of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. Focusing on the ‘experiential truth’ that emerges in the narratives of Boko Haram terrorism in a wide range of media and genres, the panel is interested in understanding Boko Haram terrorism as a lived experience. Consequently, we hope to interrogate how individuals, families, and communities lived through, experience, remember, and narrativize Boko Haram terrorism in fictional and non-fictional accounts as well as the politics underpinning those narratives. This panel, therefore, argues for the centrality of narratives and cultural studies in the understanding of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria.

Bringing the narratives on Boko Haram in conversation with the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign that emerged in the aftermath of the 2014 kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls, this panel asks: how did survivors of Boko Haram terrorism narrativize their experiences of terrorism? What do they bear witness to? Whose narrative is told or sidelined? And how do their testimonies offer a more complex and nuanced understanding of Boko Haram terrorism beyond what is known in the extant literature on the group? To what extent are these texts in conversation with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign? Relatedly, what is the role of narrative genres, broadly understood, in the study of Boko Haram terrorism? And how can these narratives be situated within the burgeoning global subgenre of the war on terror literature? And by extension, how do we situate Boko Haram terrorism within the global discourse on the war on terror?

Contributors are invited to consider the multiple literary and creative representations of Boko Haram terrorism as taken up in novels, films, documentaries, poetry, creative non-fictions, arts, music and in both print and digital media.

Interested contributors are invited to send an abstract of no more than 250 words to before January 1, 2022.