Performing War: Making the Ruined Visible

Candice Pipes

Can we bear witness to trauma by means of dramatic performance, even as the trauma resists representation? This is a philosophical question basic to modern drama. From Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty in the 1930s to the Sisyphean silence of the universe in the Theater of the Absurd and later to the Theater of War and what I will call the Theater of Trauma, has been a critical enigma. This question was recently posed in music by Maria Cizmic in her 2012 book, Performing Pain:  Music and Trauma in Eastern Europe. Cizmic makes the argument that music can indeed “bear witness” to trauma, even as trauma “resists representation” (30, 31). Her argument revitalizes the philosophical position in drama: does dramatic performance also bear witness to trauma? On the surface—as we reflect on great drama–this seems true. To the degree that dramatic performance witnesses to trauma true, the performance succeeds; to the degree that it does not, we return to our complacent lives, unaffected. We watch the play and attempted representation of the trauma of war and experience what Paul Woodruff calls “tonal sympathy,” which “feels a lot like emotion, but is missing the cognitive features of emotion” (157). The performance moves, but does not inspire action, does not incite empathy, which is, as Woodruff argues, the ideal. We find that the live performance of plays may (or may not) translate pain to an audience. I will argue, using Lynn Nottage’s play, Ruined, that it is the responsibility of the Theater of Trauma to provoke empathy or else the trauma is left misrepresented and the call of the traumatized left unanswered.

Brian Doerries’ theater company, The Theater of War, recently confirmed that it is possible for performance to effectively represent trauma. Pain was translated to me during a dramatic reading of the Sophocles play Philoctetes. In this play, Philoctetes is a wounded warrior with a rotting foot, abandoned on a deserted island. A young Neoptolemus is confronted with Philoctetes’ pain, must witness his screams, his agony, and it is the acting out of these screams that is able to transcend the active and the passive, the watched and the voyeur, the complicit and the complacent to affect the audience. In ancient Greece, Philoctetes’ animal-like screams would go on for 15-20 minutes, but even in the 5 minutes of grotesque screaming I heard, I experienced Philoctetes’ pain. I felt something–I was made uncomfortable, nervous, unsettled by the screaming, groaning, moaning actor conjuring Philoctetes’ pain. In this moment the audience is convicted [i] in the suffering of Philoctetes. But is the audience empathetic?

Doerries, in his 2014 translation of Philoctetes, asks of his audiences, “Will you stay?  Will you stay when the screams persist?” The overwhelming response is, “I don’t know.” The problem is that before the audience must decide, Sophocles pardons us. To quickly restore the humanity of Philoctetes and move forward the motion of the play (because what we know of wounded warriors would tell us that this suffering could go on forever with no respite), Sophocles employs the deus ex machina and Heracles descends from the heavens promising Philoctetes health and victory if he returns to war. So the questions are: Is exposing war’s wounded enough? What is the relationship here between the temporal duration of the performance and the other temporality that emerges when the audience leaves? Is bearing witness to the pain, forcing the impossible to take shape, speaking those unspoken things, enough? And, what can we reasonably expect from a performance of war—when the trauma of war resists representation?

Under critical scrutiny, in many plays, the façade of this bearing witness erodes. For example, Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer prize-winning play, Ruined, exposes the crimes against women whose bodies serve as literal battlegrounds in the civil war raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo and offers an opportunity to think about the representation of war injury in a medium that requires the utmost of its audience–a live, performative demonstration that forces a confrontation with what can otherwise be dismissed, if not left unseen. Nottage appropriates and, I will argue, exploits Congolese women’s stories; then performs these stories to audiences distanced by oceans of water and money and privilege, audiences protected from the ghastly realities of this still on-going war, creating a problematic tension–a tension that reveals itself in the taped reactions of playgoers after watching the play performed. “Wonderful;” they say, “exquisite,” “most marvelous show,” “the best play I’ve ever seen.” The questions are:  In this context, is understanding and compassion for the war-wounded transmissible? What happens when the pain of generations is reduced to two hours–when the persistence of the screaming is neutralized?  In the case of Ruined, I will argue that the true horror found in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the violent taking of another’s land, is replaced by an attempt to document the violent taking of women’s bodies, but in a way that ultimately exploits the real victims’ stories for the effect of making (mostly white, upper-middle class) American audiences feel good. Ruined imagines a world that is less horrible and more romanticized than the truth of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the brutalization of women is not just allowed, but encouraged.  Ruined caters to Conrad’s “The Intended” who needs to have what Peter Firchow calls “a morally cleansed version of reality”—the lie Marlow must tell, the escape Nottage provides for the audience (165). The play informs them about war’s atrocities and evokes sympathy, but fails to create empathy–fails to convince us to stay as the screaming persists. In the context of our original question, we must understand the creation of empathy as the goal, a challenging end. To create empathy that leads to action, to awaken us from the dream, to face cruelty, to scream in the void, to transform the audience into Sisyphus—futilely, but purposefully pushing the burden of this suffering up that hill—is no easy task.

Here I must pause to add some context to Nottage and her play. Nottage was first inspired by Brecht’s Mother Courage when thinking about the design and intent of her play. In fact, she suggests that, early-on, her inception of a play telling the story of these battered and scarred Congolese women would serve as a re-writing of Brecht’s play. Paul Woodruff, author of The Necessity of Theater:  The Art of Watching and Being Watched, argues that Brecht desired to produce what is counter to empathy—critical thought.  Brecht does not want empathy.  In fact, “to avoid empathy, Brecht employed his famous distancing efforts; more to the point, he went out of his way to make his protagonists unappealing” (Woodruff 168). We must understand Brecht’s project as one that wants to create the conditions, the response in the watcher (the audience), that insists on staying. As Woodruff so clearly articulates, “In Brecht’s ideal theater the audience would be free to think that situations like those presented on stage are not inevitable—that they can and should be prevented. In place of pity and fear, Brecht’s audience should feel outrage, anger, and an urgent desire to change society for the better” (169).  Brecht, then, in prioritizing critical thinking over tonal sympathy and caring, calls for a “knowledge-based empathy,” compelling watchers to action (Woodruff 184). Significantly, Nottage breaks from her initial intent to employ Brecht’s model. I argue that in this shift away from Brecht is a shift toward sympathy, a move that we can temporally understand as the difference between a lasting emotional commitment from the audience and a fleeting emotional response. As Woodruff cautions, plays that privilege tonal sympathy “deprive you of choice and thought” (180). Nottage removes her watchers ability to think critically about the play. Nottage distracts her audience with her play’s exploitation of its foreignness—its music, choreography, language, and costuming/masking—and prevents a real connection with the pain embedded in the performance.

The play is set in a bar/brothel owned and run by Mama Nadi. Mama exploits young women ostracized by their families and villages because they are victims of rape, and in exchange for food and shelter, pimps these women out to the rebel and republican soldiers. Christian, her supplier and “good soul,” as his name would imply, quietly critiques Mama and her ambiguous allegiances, but is powerless. Christian brings his niece, Sophie, to Mama. Sophie is “ruined”–so brutalized by the multiple rapes she’s suffered that she is no longer able to function sexually. To put it in the words of Josephine, another girl in Mama’s house, “you are something worse than a whore. So many men have had you that you’re worthless” (37). Salima, another girl-made-whore is pregnant from rape, having had her infant daughter murdered by her rapists, and comes to Mama having been abandoned by her husband. She commits suicide.  Mama, who reveals herself to be “ruined” as well at the end of the play, takes pity on Sophie and attempts to organize her escape to the city and to a surgeon, but is too late. The dueling groups of fighters find out that Mama is playing both sides and rob her, leaving her place of business also ruined. The play ends with Christian again requesting the hand of Mama in life and/or marriage and ends with the two dancing a “measured dance” as the light slowly fades (102).

Nottage describes her play’s struggle in the words of a Rwandan survivor of genocide, “We must fight to sustain the complexity” (Whoriskey xii). Kate Whoriskey, the director of Ruined, claims, “the core commitment is to celebrate and examine the spectrum of human life in all its complexities:  the sacred with the profane, the transcendent with the lethal, the flaws with the beauty, and selfishness with generosity” (xii). Whoriskey’s discussion mirrors the dilemma of the play—a desire to represent the complexity of  a war-torn country in which the rape of women is used as a weapon against not just the women themselves, but their communities and future generations, where rape is policy, ordered by superior officers as method of implementing war, where the act of providing for one’s family (i.e., going to the river to get water or the field to get food) is the most dangerous act a woman can do, where rape makes life and freedom for women impossible. And yet, Whoriskey reduces her discussion of the complexity of the use of rape as a weapon of war to nicely phrased binaries. Again, my questions are: What if it’s not that simple?  How do we reconcile a play about humanity when definitions of what it means to be human are too unstably fluid and ambiguous to assume the concept of human applies equally? What if lethality and legality overwhelm transcendence? What if horror subverts beauty? What if selfishness is law and generosity is a crime? Can a play, does this play, represent that?

Let us pause again to add a bit of an ideological framework regarding my conception of humanity or, more explicitly, who is allowed the full status and experience of being human.  My conception is informed by Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, and most recently, Alexander G. Weheliye’s and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ work.  In the work of these scholars, race (or more accurately, racist systems—as Coates posits, “race is the child of racism, not the father”) plays a central role in determining access to full human status, but my configuration of humanness more overtly considers the role of gender in determining humanity (7). Ruined is explicitly concerned with the black women whose bodies have been turned into battlefields upon which war is waged, but the play is implicitly always bearing witness to the consequences of race-based colonialization rooted in the inherent hierarchies of Western social formations that privilege whiteness by othering those who are not. This othering is what complicates a homogeneous understanding of humanity. As Weheliye argues in his 2014 book, Habeas Viscus: “if racialization is understood not as a biological or cultural descriptor but as a conglomerate of sociopolitical relations that discipline humanity into full humans, not quite-humans, and nonhumans, then blackness designates a changing system of unequal power structures that apportion and delimit which humans can lay claim to full human status and which humans cannot” (3). What Weheliye makes clear is that this categorization of humanity is not state-based or even nation-state based; rather, it is wielded globally.

What both Fanon and now Coates speak to in their writing is the pathology that accompanies this less-than-human status. Fanon describes the pathology as an inferiority complex, “primarily economic; subsequently, the internalization—or, better, the epidermalization—of this inferiority” (11). Coates articulates the pathology as fear—“the only people I knew were black, and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid” (14).  Both Fanon and Coates understand the consequence of the pathology as violence: “the violence rose from the fear like smoke from a fire, and I cannot say whether that violence, even administered in fear and love, sounded the alarm or choked us at the exit” (Coates 17). Fanon goes so far as to offer violence as life, as the only way for the subhuman to access full human status:  “human reality in-itself-for-itself can be achieved only through conflict and through the risk that conflict implies” (218). So, we must understand the “not-quite human” Congolese men represented in Nottage’s play as attempting to gain access to full human status by violating the only bodies with even less status, the bodies of the “nonhuman” Congolese women.  The horrific and grotesquely inhumaneness of this violence can be further explained by layering Sylvia Wynter’s understanding that to be inhumane is to be “shut out from what Helen Fein calls the ‘universe of moral obligation’” (44).  To be inhumane is to be freed from universal notions of morality, unencumbered by judgements of right and wrong/good and evil, free to act without consideration for one’s own or others’ responsibility to the greater world order. These Congolese men, then, act with violence free of morality within their “not-quite human” state of being even as they attempt to access full human status.

The reality:  The United Nations has named the Democratic Republic of Congo the “worst place on Earth to be a woman” (The Worst Place on Earth). The United Nations estimates that at least 200,000 women and girls have been raped since hostilities began in 1996 with the true extent of the sexual violence thought considerably higher.  Eastern DRC is known as the “rape capital of the world” (The Worst Place on Earth). Significantly, these numbers do not include rapes of men or those women who have been captured and held as sex slaves/forced wives. And so it is impossibly true that “this humanitarian crisis is largely ignored by the global community” as activist Lee Ann De Reus suggests (143). De Reus, like Nottage, spent time in Congolese refugee camps interviewing survivors of rape.  When asked what could be done to help them, one woman said, “I could ask you to go and tell other people.” So, we must, within the critique, fully appreciate the work Nottage is doing. Nottage’s play, like all war literature, gives a face to the individual and removes war from the safe sterility of statistics.

While many of the women’s stories are only hinted at (Josephine’s “enormous disfiguring black scar circumventing her stomach”) (Nottage 34), alluded to (“the beauty Camille got the AIDS”) (Nottage 13), and suggested (“damaged goods”) (Nottage 16), Salima does tell her story in brutal detail:

One of the soldiers held me down with his foot.  He was so heavy, thick like an ox and his boot was cracked and weathered like it had been left out in the rain for weeks.  His boot was pressing my chest and the cracks in the leather had the look of drying sorghum. His foot was so heavy, and it was all I could see as the others … “took” me.  My baby was crying.  She was a good baby.  Beatrice never cried, but she was crying, screaming. “Shhhh,” I said.  “Shhhh.” And right then … (closes her eyes) A soldier stomped on her head with his boot.  And she was quiet.  …. But they still took me from my home.  They took me through the bush–raiding thieves.  Fucking demons!  “She is for everyone, soup to be had before dinner,” that is what someone said.  They tied me to a tree by my foot, and the men came whenever they wanted soup.  I make fires, I cook food, I listen to their stupid songs, I carry bullets, I clean wounds, I wash blood from their clothing, and, and, and … I lay there as they tore me to pieces, until I was raw … five months.  Five months. Chained like a goat.  These men fighting … fighting for our liberation.  Still I close my eyes and I see such terrible things.  Things I cannot stand to have in my head.  How can men be this way?  (68-69)

This witnessing is all-important and reflects testimony after testimony of women who have survived rapes and captivity in the Congo. Salima is also the woman who commits suicide–almost as if she needed to justify the act.  We have no choice but to read Salima’s suicide (and filicide) as an act of resistance.  During the climax of the play when the government soldiers have discovered Mama’s hosting of the rebels, with Josephine under attack, a soldier “ready to sexually violate her…tear[ing] away at her clothing,” Josephine screaming, “No! No!,” Salima enters the room “a pool of blood form[ing] in the middle of her dress, blood drip[ing] down her legs,” and says, “For the love of God, stop this!  Haven’t you done enough to us.  Enough! Enough!” (Nottage 93, 94). But what Salima knows is that these men won’t stop–there is no satiating their appetite, no safety mechanism on this weapon, no empathy for her screams.  Her self-murder is her only means of resistance, her only way of fighting back.  She says as she collapses to the floor, “You will not fight your battles on my body anymore” (Nottage 94). End scene. The play continues with one final scene, which starts with Sophie singing and ends with Mama and Christian dancing, and I find myself wondering, why the play ends this way?

Before considering this problematic ending, I need to return to the problem of Mama Nadi.  Randy Gener celebrates her character’s strength, understanding her brothel as a “haven of escape and respite for rough-handed miners and drunken soldiers,” and appreciate her humor and her survival instincts (“On Lynn” 5). In another commentary, Gener writes, “Trapped in the illogic and dense moral thicket of a hellish war, Mama Nadi thrives. Hers is an act of defiance waged not just over women’s bodies but over the ruined body of the Congo herself” (“Mama” 21). But how can we understand Mama’s work as peddler of flesh as “defiance waged … over women’s bodies?” To fully understand the complexities alluded to earlier, we must recognize Mama as a participant in the continued victimization of the young women she houses.

Mama is a perpetrator of the continued sexual violence visited on these women.  We must know each customer as a rapist, each trick as a rape and Mama as the pimp, to discern the true horror of this play. The problem is that, even Nottage herself does not understand Mama in this way: “Mama lives in a man’s world and yet she’s able to transcend her circumstances and keep the community of women safe. She’s exploiting them, but in a twisted way she is able to nurture them and keep them alive. She is an extremely articulate and passionate advocate for her community” (qtd in Gener, “Mama” 21). Who, then, does Nottage understand Mama’s community to be, surely not the community of women she exploits for her own gain?  She forces Sophie to orally please Commander Osembenga after insulting him, “Now you go in there, and you make sure his cock is clean.  Am I making myself clear?” (85). Salima is forced to have sex with “filth,” a man who reminds her of one of her rapists (29). Josephine is attacked by angry soldiers while Mama watches on only saved, this time, by Salima’s suicide. These women are forced to lay with men whose “hands are so full of rage that it hurts to be touched” (32). Mama is clear about her purpose.  She plainly states, “I’m running a business not a mission” (14). At one point she is accused of being a thief and she responds, “does that make me a thief or merely more clever than you” (25). Mama is certainly clever, but she is no humanitarian.  She is no advocate for women’s safety, and venture capitalism with human bodies is sex slavery whether in the throes of war or not.

We must start to recognize the insidious depth of rape cultures in order to fully expose them and Mama Nadi contributes to, rather than defends against, the Congo’s rape culture.  War poet and critic, Brian Turner, perhaps identifies the issue at its core when discussing the portrayal of Iraqis in the movie, American Sniper. He offers that “we lack the empathy necessary to see them as fully human … their bodies are the site and source of violence. In both the film and our collective imagination, their humanity is reduced in ways that, ultimately, define our own narrow humanity.” What does it say about how we value these women if we celebrate all the Mama Nadis? (Perhaps it confirms their “nonhuman” status?) We should be careful not to liken Mama Nadi to real-life heroes who do risk their lives for no gain to help other human beings. Mama Nadi is no Harriet Tubman or Antonina Zabinska, whom Diane Ackerman named the Zookeeper’s Wife; she is no Rebecca Lolosoli, who runs a rape center in Kenya committed to sustaining and nurturing survivors of sexual abuse. She is strong, yes, but self-serving. A survivor, yes, but as damaged as the rest, a victim of her own horrific trauma.  A force of nature, yes, but, to some, a natural disaster.

I can’t help but understand Lynn Nottage as her own kind of Mama Nadi. Nottage—by appropriating and exploiting these women’s stories—has gained renown as a playwright, received a Pulitzer, an OBIE, and a multitude of prestigious awards with these stories. I recognize that this is a harsh reading of Nottage’s play and project and I don’t mean to undermine Nottage’s genuine, good intentions. I also recognize that Nottage would reject this reading wholesale. She’s talked openly about how her play has reached the likes of Barbara Walters and Oprah and other people with power who have, because of her work, either with money or reporting or other efforts effected change. But much like Mama Nadi clothed, fed, and sheltered her “girls,” Nottage’s good only achieves so much, can only offer so much comfort. She does not see the problem with the majority of her (mostly white) American audiences leaving the theater gushing about the wonder of the play, commenting that they did not know it was based on true events, and then walking away feeling good about their progressiveness, about their increased awareness even as more and more women in the Congo are raped. War plays, like war movies, make audiences voyeurs into worlds unknown, and irresponsible voyeurs at that.

I would call Nottage’s ending irresponsible, as some others have suggested. Critic Hilton Als goes so far as to imagine Mama Nadi and Christian’s dance at the end of the play evoking President and Michelle Obama dancing at the first inauguration, “and as the couple twirls, with Mama Nadi holding back a bit at first, we are reminded of the many images we’ve recently seen of that other black couple dancing slowly, their belief in each other having similarly overcome all manner of obstacles, including the hatred of some of their countrymen” (73). Nottage, similarly, offers “hope” as her defense, but what if the kind of hope offered is the kind found in fairy tales? Randy Gener reads Nottage’s project more kindly arguing that Nottage is “humanist to the core, she seeks to demonstrate that what’s obdurate is, in fact, assailable–that although the consequences of gender inequality in Africa are so vast and the statistics those consequences generate so huge, theatre is still a place that can enlarge our collective feelings of connection and political agency” (“In Defense” 122). I agree, but only to a point. The danger in offering false hope is that the consequences are minimized and the feelings of connection and political agency are softened. Adding a fairy tale ending, even one that is “measured,” to what wants to represent the heart of darkness acts as a kind of perverted magical realism–”the horror, the horror.”

Conrad’s horror in Heart of Darkness is the loss of humanity–the withering away of what makes us human. Catharine A. MacKinnon asks, “Are Women Human?” She queries, “If women were human, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers into New York’s brothels?  Would we be sexual and reproductive slaves?” (41). In the context of Ruined, I say, yes and no. Yes, Nottage shows us that humanity, in concept, is not defined by what is done to a person, but what persons do. She demonstrates these women’s strength of spirit, their resiliency, their ability to cope with unimaginable terror and pain. But no, Nottage does not have the power to disrupt, even on stage, the “ceaselessly shifting relational assemblages” that discipline humanity in categories of the human (Weheliye 21). The better question is:  Are men who rape human? Of this, I am less certain. These men have entered the darkness and lost hold. These men who, experiencing their own trauma, have become so detached from humanity that they commit incomprehensible acts of violence removed from moral obligation are also ruined.

Lynn Nottage interviewed Congolese refugee rape survivors in 2004 and 2005 and the story that has been written since offers little actual hope. On November 22, 2012, 2000 DRC government soldiers, humiliated and demoralized from having to withdraw from their position, entered the town of Monova and raped. One soldier interviewed in the documentary, DRC – Rape City, admitted to raping 53 women. Another admitted to raping babies of 3 and kids of 5 and 6.  The soldiers said they were ordered to do so by their commanders. These men described the violation of these women and children’s bodies as freedom: “when we rape we feel free.” The reality of the situation in the Congo is that the daughters born from rape are now being raped.  As one woman explained, “women have become like goats. Women have no value at all.  Our life in Congo has no meaning.” The women, trying to understand their continued victimization, come to one conclusion, the men rape because “they think it’s a dead country,” ruined. The American Journal of Public Health says that in the DRC “1,150 women are raped every day, 48 women raped every hour, and 4 women raped every 5 minutes” (Peterman et al 1064-1065).

The screams have persisted. The performance bears witness to the problem but not the pain. Somehow we lose the scale of truth in the symbolism of the traumas of an ongoing war. We remain safe. The Theater of Trauma does not awaken us and, thus, the play does not transform us.  So we cannot really “bear witness” to trauma, because we must realize that the trauma “resists representation.” When we attempt to bear witness, when we caramelize the representation to make the resisting trauma more viscerally palpable, we distort the exigency for resistance, rebellion and revolt into an exquisite, marvelous show, so we can return to the safety of our lives of privilege.

Humanist Sylvia Wynter, in a 1999 interview with David Scott describes her awakening consciousness and desire to “transform the imagination” (131), explains, “there can be a transfer of empathy because of your ability to experience yourself in that way” (131). The cornerstone of the desired outcome of the performance, the “knowledge-based empathy,” is, then, not just contextual knowledge, but knowledge of the self. The watcher must know her self and her privilege or risk wading in the gratifying, but ultimately shallow pool of sympathy. We cannot see this trauma represented and do nothing without becoming complicit in its horror. If we really bear witness, the pain indicts us. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel hit the nerve of a nation, raising its indignation. Would that it were always so.

Consider this: What if Ruined ended with Salima’s suicide? Would the audience have let out a collective scream? Would we then slow dance into the night? Or, would her rape and suicide remind us that in our own country 22 veterans commit suicide a day and 33 people are sexually assaulted an hour. Would we hear the screams then? Would we stay? We would if the play, like Doerries’ Philoctetes, was able to transcend diversion and reside in a space of truth, bearing witness to the trauma even as the trauma fights mightily to resist.


Works Cited

Als, Hilton.  “Life During Wartime.”  New Yorker. Mar. 2009: 72-73. Print.

Coates, Ta-Nehisi.  Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel and Grau, 2015. Print.

Cizmic, Maria.  Performing Pain:  Music and Trauma in Eastern Europe.  London:  Oxford UP, Print.

Doerries, Brian.  Sophocles Philoctetes: A New Translation. New York: Vintage Books, Print.

De Reus, Lee Ann.  “My Name is Mwamaroyi:  Stories of Suffering, Survival, and Hope in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Rape: Weapon of War and Genocide. Eds. Carol Rittner and John K. Roth.  St. Paul, MN:  Paragon House, 2012:  139-157. Print.

Firchow, Peter E.  Envisioning Africa: Racism and Imperialism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. University of Kentucky UP, 2000. Print.

Gener, Randy.  “Mama Nadi and Her Women.”  American Theater, 26.3 (Mar 2009). Print.

— “In Defense of ‘Ruined’.”  American Theatre, 27.8 (Oct 2010). 118-122. Print.

— “On Lynn Nottage’s Ruined.”  Critical Stages.  Web. 30 Oct 2010.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks.  New York: Grove Press, 1967. Print.

Lloyd-Davies, Fiona. DRC – Rape City.  Journeyman Pictures. 29 April 2013.

MacKinnon, Catharine A.  are women human?: And Other International Dialogues. Boston:  Harvard UP, 2007. Print.

Nottage, Lynn.  Ruined.  New York:  Theatre Communications Group, 2009. Print.

Peterman, Amber, Tia Palermo, and Caryn Bredenkamp.  “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” American Journal of Public Health 101.6 (June 2011): 1060-1067. Print.

Scott, David.  “The Re-Enchantment of Humanism:  An Interview with Sylvia Wynter.” Small Axe 8 (Sept 2000): 119-207. Print.

Turner, Brian.  “I Served in Iraq, and American Sniper Gets It Right.  But It’s Still Not the War Film We Need.” Vulture. Web. 22 January 2015.

Weheliye, Alexander G.  Habeas Viscus.  Durham:  Duke UP, 2014. Print.

Whoriskey, Kate.  Introduction.  Ruined.  New York:  Theatre Communications Group, 2009. Print.

Woodruff, Paul.  The Necessity of Theater:  The Art of Watching and Being Watched. Oxford:  Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

Wynter, Sylvia.  “No Humans Involved:  An Open Letter to My Colleagues.”  Forum N.H.I.: Knowledge for the 21st Century.  Stanford, CA:  Institute N.H.I., 1994. Print.



[i] I’m using the word in the Baptist church tradition meaning “to be overcome with.”