A brown bag book talk with Professor Susan Shepler
(American University, Washington DC)
Remaking Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone
(NYU Press, 2014)
Professor Susan Shepler’s new book examines the difficult reintegration of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone. The book argues that there is a fundamental disconnect between the Western idea of the child soldier and the individual lived experiences of the child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Susan Shepler contends that the reintegration of former child soldiers is a political process having to do with changing notions of childhood as one of the central structures of society.
Shepler visited interim care centers for former child soldiers and conducted ethnographic research over the course of several years. Some of the children returned home to their former communities and she was able to document their reintegration process.
Shepler notes in the book that there was a wide range of different experiences among the children, who ranged in age from eight to eighteen during the war. There were varied outcomes for boys and girls and differences in how long they had been with the armed groups, what faction they had belonged to, and whether they were abducted versus voluntarily joining.
Free and open to the public, books will be available for purchase Where: 222 Milbank Hall, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
When: 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM