Reading List

On Her Shoulders Delve Deeper Reading List

Adult Nonfiction

Mikhail, Dunya. The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq. New Directions Publishing, 2018.

Since 2014, Daesh (ISIS) has been brutalizing the Yazidi people of northern Iraq: sowing destruction, killing those who won’t convert to Islam, and enslaving young girls and women. The Beekeeper, by the acclaimed poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, tells the harrowing stories of several women who managed to escape the clutches of Daesh. Mikhail extensively interviews these women—who’ve lost their families and loved ones, who’ve been repeatedly sold, raped, psychologically tortured, and forced to manufacture chemical weapons—and as their tales unfold, an unlikely hero emerges: a beekeeper, who uses his knowledge of the local terrain, along with a wide network of transporters, helpers, and former cigarette smugglers, to bring these women, one by one, through the war-torn landscapes of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, back into safety.

Simpson, Roger and Cote, William. Covering Violence: A Guide to Ethical Reporting About Victims & Trauma.Columbia University Press, 2006.

Reporting on violence is one of the most problematic features of journalistic practice: the area most frequently criticized by the public and those on the receiving end of that coverage. Now in its second edition, Covering Violence remains a crucial guide for becoming a sensitive and responsible reporter. Discussing such topics as rape and the ethics of interviewing children, the book gives students and journalists a detailed understanding of what is happening "on the scene" of a violent event, including where a reporter can go safely and legally, how to obtain the most useful information, and how best to interview and photograph victims and witnesses.

Goodnow, Katherine, Loham, Jack, and Marfleet, Philip. Museums, the Media, and Refugees.Berghahn Books, 2008.

Across countries and time, asylum-seekers and refugees have been represented in a variety of ways. In some representations they appear negatively, as dangers threatening to ‘over-run’ a country or a region with ‘floods’ of incompatible strangers. In others, the same people are portrayed positively, with compassion, and pictured as desperately in need of assistance. How these competing perceptions are received has significant consequences for determining public policy, human rights, international agreements, and the realization of cultural diversity, and so it is imperative to understand how these images are perpetuated. To this end, this volume reflects on museum practice and the contexts, stories, and images of asylum seekers and refugees prevalent in our mass media.

Murad, Nadia. The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State. Tim Duggan Books, 2017.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon. On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade. Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety. Today, Nadia’s story—as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi—has forced the world to pay attention to an ongoing genocide.

Hisham, Marwan (Author) & Molly Crabapple (Illustrator). Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War. Penguin Random House, 2018.

Illustrated with more than eighty ink drawings by Molly Crabapple that bring to life the beauty and chaos, Brothers of the Gun offers a ground-level reflection on the Syrian revolution—and how it bled into international catastrophe and global war. This is a story of pragmatism and idealism, impossible violence and repression, and, even in the midst of war, profound acts of courage, creativity, and hope.

Heineman, Elizabeth D. Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

Since the 1990s, sexual violence in conflict zones has received much media attention. In large part as a result of grassroots feminist organizing in the 1970s and 1980s, mass rapes in the wars in the former Yugoslavia and during the Rwandan genocide received widespread coverage, and international organizations—from courts to NGOs to the UN—have engaged in systematic efforts to hold perpetrators accountable and to ameliorate the effects of wartime sexual violence.

Bradley, Megan. Forced Migration, Reconciliation, and Justice. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015.

At the start of 2014, more people were displaced globally by conflict and human rights violations than at any time since the Second World War. Although many of those displaced, from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Colombia, Kenya, and Sudan, have survived grave human rights abuses that demand redress, the links between forced migration, justice, and reconciliation have historically received little attention. This collection addresses the roles of various actors including governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and displaced persons themselves, raising complex questions about accountability for past injustices and how to support reconciliation in communities shaped by exile.

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