In his first articulation of self-definition—though not his first identity-forming moment—in Exodus, Moses, a repeat survivor of violence, describes himself in genealogical and geographical terms: “I have become a sojourner in a foreign land” (Exod 2:22). The bearer of that identity and memory, however, is not Moses but Gershom; that is, “sojourner” and “foreignness” function less as person-specific and boundary-specific tropes than as intergenerational and interregional presences. Moses’s intergenerational and interregional interpretive act creates a narrative and embodied character, Gershom, whose “inherited” story illustrates an exodus motif of fragmented and dislocated identity reclaimed as trauma-promise. Combining biblical exegesis with theoretical insights from postcolonial analyses, cultural memory, and identity formation in the nation-state of Cameroon, the essay reads Exodus 2 as a postwar story of identity formation, infused with multiple consciousnesses (political, ethnic, gendered, regional, and religious) and varied memories (conjunctive, disjunctive, and adjunctive). These consciousnesses and memories create gershomite identity, the narrative trope and communal embodiment that transform the traumas of communal fragmentation and displacement into trauma-hopes of survival and regeneration.


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pp. 855-876
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