Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Rebecca K. Zarger


embodied suffering, Lost Girls, photovoice, refugees, Sudan, UNHCR


This dissertation examines the specific forms of embodied suffering war and its refugee aftermath brings to female Sudanese refugees currently living in post-revolution Cairo, Egypt in order to illustrate the suffering and healing enacted within everyday life. These women, displaced from the Second Sudanese Civil War, are what I label Sudan's `Lost Girls.' The theoretical framework I employ in order to discuss their lives is a critical medical anthropology perspective based on the mindful body. I engage anthropological literature on the body in order to better understand the embodied suffering, sexual violence, and refugee aftermath of war. My research seeks to do this through distinctly gendered analyses and equally importantly, visual analyses. The research draws on historical news data collected through content analysis, contemporary qualitative data collected during fieldwork in the form of observation and interviews, with a particular emphasis on photovoice methodology. The work proposes that the humanizing aspect of emotions revealed by Lost Girls' photography of their everyday lives in urban Cairo allows for critical analysis of the many and varied ways in which women's `ordinary' experiences of war have been hidden, the implications of this for international responses to their suffering, and areas for exploring new, non-emergency refugee policies based on more ethnographically informed, gendered contextualizations of `extraordinary' violence.