Since a new sensitivity and orientation to victims of injustice arose in the 1960s, categories of victimization have proliferated. Large numbers of people are now characterized and characterize themselves as sufferers of psychological injury caused by the actions of others. In contrast with the familiar critiques of victim culture, Accounts of Innocence offers a new and empirically rich perspective on the question of why we now place such psychological significance on victimization in people's lives.
Focusing on the case of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Joseph E. Davis shows how the idea of innocence shaped the emergence of trauma psychology and continues to inform accounts of the past (and hopes for the future) in therapy with survivor clients. His findings shed new light on the ongoing debate over recovered memories of abuse. They challenge the notion that victim accounts are an evasion of personal responsibility. And they suggest important ways in which trauma psychology has had unintended and negative consequences for how victims see themselves and for how others relate to them.
An important intervention in the study of victimization in our culture, Accounts of Innocence will interest scholars of clinical psychology, social work, and sociology, as well as therapists and victim activists.
The appearance of Alain Resnais' 1955 French documentary Night and Fog heralded the beginning of a new form of cinema, one that used the narrative techniques of modernism to provoke a new historical consciousness. Afterimage presents a theory of posttraumatic film based on the encounter between cinema and the Holocaust. Locating its origin in the vivid shock of wartime footage, Afterimage focuses on a group of crucial documentary and fiction films that were pivotal to the spread of this cinematic form across different nations and genres.
Joshua Hirsch explores the changes in documentary brought about by cinema verite, culminating in Shoah. He then turns to teh appearance of a fictional posttraumatic cinema, tracing its development through the vivid flashbacks in Resnais' Hiroshima, mon amour to the portrayal of pain and memory in Pawnbroker. He excavates a posttraumatic autobiography in three early films by the Hungarian Istvan Szabo. Finally, Hirsch examines the effects of postmodernism on posttraumatic cinema, looking at Schindler's List and a work about a different form of historical trauma, History and Memory, a videotape dealing with the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.
Sweeping in its scope, Afterimage presents a new way of thinking about film and history, trauma and its representation.
All My Friends Live in my Computer combines personal stories, media studies, and interdisciplinary theories to examine case studies from three unique parts of society. From illness narratives among breast cancer patients to political upheaval among Iranian-Americans, this book examines what people do when they go online after they have suffered a trauma. It offers in-depth academic analysis alongside deeply personal stories and case studies to take the reader on a journey through rapidly changing digital/social worlds. When people are traumatized, their worlds stop making sense, and All My Friends Live in My Computer explores how everyday people use social media to try and make a new world for themselves and others who are suffering. Through its attention to personal stories and application of media theory to new contexts, this book highlights how, when given the tools, people will make meaning in creative, novel, and healing ways.
In this bold new work of cultural criticism, Ann Cvetkovich develops a queer approach to trauma. She argues for the importance of recognizing—and archiving—accounts of trauma that belong as much to the ordinary and everyday as to the domain of catastrophe. An Archive of Feelings contends that the field of trauma studies, limited by too strict a division between the public and the private, has overlooked the experiences of women and queers. Rejecting the pathologizing understandings of trauma that permeate medical and clinical discourses on the subject, Cvetkovich develops instead a sex-positive approach missing even from most feminist work on trauma. She challenges the field to engage more fully with sexual trauma and the wide range of feelings in its vicinity, including those associated with butch-femme sex and aids activism and caretaking.
An Archive of Feelings brings together oral histories from lesbian activists involved in act up/New York; readings of literature by Dorothy Allison, Leslie Feinberg, Cherríe Moraga, and Shani Mootoo; videos by Jean Carlomusto and Pratibha Parmar; and performances by Lisa Kron, Carmelita Tropicana, and the bands Le Tigre and Tribe 8. Cvetkovich reveals how activism, performance, and literature give rise to public cultures that work through trauma and transform the conditions producing it. By looking closely at connections between sexuality, trauma, and the creation of lesbian public cultures, Cvetkovich makes those experiences that have been pushed to the peripheries of trauma culture the defining principles of a new construction of sexual trauma—one in which trauma catalyzes the creation of cultural archives and political communities.
Explore emerging trends in trauma studies and biblical interpretation
In recent years there has been a surge of interest in trauma, trauma theory, and its application to the biblical text. This collection of essays explores the usefulness of using trauma theory as a lens through which to read the biblical texts. Each of the essays explores the concept of how trauma might be defined and applied in biblical studies. Using a range of different but intersection theories of trauma, the essays reflect on the value of trauma studies for offering new insights into the biblical text. Including contributions from biblical scholars, as well as systematic and pastoral theologians, this book provides a timely critical reflection on this emerging discussion.
Implications for how reading the biblical text through the lens of trauma can be fruitful for contemporary appropriation of the biblical text in pastoral and theological pursuits
Articles that integrate hermeneutics of trauma with classical historical-critical methods
Essays that address the relationship between individual and collective trauma
The Chinese Postmodern is a pioneering study of today's Chinese experimental fiction, exploring the works of such major writers as Can Xue, Ge Fei, Ma Yuan, Mo Yan, Xu Xiaohe, and Yu Hua from the perspective of cultural and literary postmodernity. Focusing on the interplay between historical psychology and representational mode, and between political discourse and literary rhetoric, it examines the problem of Chinese postmodernity against the background of the cultural-political reality of twentieth-century China.
The book seeks to redefine Chinese modernity and postmodernity through the analyses of both orthodox and avant-garde works. In doing so, the author draws on a number of theories, psychoanalysis and deconstruction in particular, revealing the hidden connection between the deconstructive mode of writing and the experience of history after trauma and showing how avant-garde literature brings about a varied literary paradigm that defies the dominant, subject-centered one in twentieth-century China.
The distinctiveness of The Chinese Postmodern is also found in its portrayal of the changes of literary paradigms in modern Chinese literature. By way of characterizing avant-garde fiction, it provides an overview of twentieth-century Chinese literature and offers a theorization of the intellectual history of modern China. Other issues concerning literary theory are explored, including the relationships between postmodernity and totalitarian discourse, between historical trauma and literary writing, and between psychic trauma and rhetorical irony. This book will appeal to readers in the fields of Chinese literature and culture, modern Chinese history, literary theory, and comparative literature.
Xiaobin Yang is Croft Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi.
Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Place Book Award Winner (2022)
What if cities around the world actively worked to promote the health and healing of all of their residents? Cities contribute to the traumas that cause unhealthy stress, with segregated neighborhoods, insecure housing, few playgrounds, environmental pollution, and unsafe streets, particularly for the poor and residents who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Some cities around the world are already helping their communities heal by investing more in peacemaking and parks than in policing; focusing on community decision-making instead of data surveillance; changing regulations to permit more libraries than liquor stores; and building more affordable housing than highways. These cities are declaring racism a public health and climate change crisis, and taking the lead in generating equitable outcomes.
In Cities for Life, public health expert Jason Corburn shares lessons from three of these cities: Richmond, California; Medellín, Colombia; and Nairobi, Kenya. Corburn draws from his work with citizens, activists, and decision-makers in these cities over a ten-year period, as individuals and communities worked to heal from trauma—from gun violence, housing and food insecurity, and poverty. Corburn shows how any community can rebuild their social institutions, practices, and policies to be more focused on healing and health. This means not only centering those most traumatized in decision-making, Corburn explains, but confronting historically discriminatory, exclusionary, and racist urban institutions, and promoting healing-focused practices, place-making, and public policies.
Cities for Life is essential reading for urban planning, design, healthcare, and public health professionals as they work to reverse entrenched institutional practices through new policies, rules, norms, and laws that address their damage and promote health and healing.
Kristine Stiles has played a vital role in establishing trauma studies within the humanities. A formidable force in the art world, Stiles examines the significance of traumatic experiences both in the individual lives and works of artists and in contemporary international cultures since World War II. In Concerning Consequences, she considers some of the most notorious art of the second half of the twentieth century by artists who use their bodies to address destruction and violence.
The essays in this book focus primarily on performance art and photography. From war and environmental pollution to racism and sexual assault, Stiles analyzes the consequences of trauma as seen in the works of artists like Marina Abramovic, Pope.L, and Chris Burden. Assembling rich intellectual explorations on everything from Paleolithic paintings to the Bible’s patriarchal legacies to documentary images of nuclear explosions, Concerning Consequences explores how art can provide a distinctive means of understanding trauma and promote individual and collective healing.
The late 1990s and early 2000s witnessed a surge in the publication and popularity of autobiographical writings about childhood. Linking literary and cultural studies, Contesting Childhood draws on a varied selection of works from a diverse range of authorsùfrom first-time to experienced writers. Kate Douglas explores Australian accounts of the Stolen Generation, contemporary American and British narratives of abuse, the bestselling memoirs of Andrea Ashworth, Augusten Burroughs, Robert Drewe, Mary Karr, Frank McCourt, Dave Pelzer, and Lorna Sage, among many others.
Drawing on trauma and memory studies and theories of authorship and readership, Contesting Childhood offers commentary on the triumphs, trials, and tribulations that have shaped this genre. Douglas examines the content of the narratives and the limits of their representations, as well as some of the ways in which autobiographies of youth have become politically important and influential. This study enables readers to discover how stories configure childhood within cultural memory and the public sphere.
Cosmopolitan Parables explores the global rise of the heavily debated concept of cosmopolitanism from a unique German literary perspective. Since the early 1990s, the notion of cosmopolitanism has acquired a new salience because of an alarming rise in nationalism, xenophobia, migration, international war, and genocide. This upsurge has transformed how artists and scholars worldwide assess the power of international civil society and its moral obligation to unite regardless of cultural background, religious affiliation, or national citizenship. It rejuvenates an ancient yet timely framework within which contemporary political crises are to be overcome, especially after the collapse of communist states and the intersection of postwar and postcolonial trajectories.
To exemplify this global challenge, Kim examines three internationally acclaimed writers of German origin—Hans Christoph Buch, Michael Krüger, and W. G. Sebald—joined by their own harrowing experiences and stunning entanglements with Holocaust memory, postcolonial responsibility, and communist legacy. This bold new study is the first of its kind, interrogating transnational memories of trauma alongside globally shared responsibilities for justice. More important, it addresses the question of remembrance—whether the colonial past or the postwar legacy serves as a proper foundation upon which cosmopolitanism is to be pursued in today's era of globalization.
First runner-up for the 2019 Ray and Pat Browne Award for the Best Edited Collection in Popular and American Culture
Cultures of War in Graphic Novels examines the representation of small-scale and often less acknowledged conflicts from around the world and throughout history. The contributors look at an array of graphic novels about conflicts such as the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), the Irish struggle for national independence (1916-1998), the Falkland War (1982), the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the Rwandan genocide (1994), the Israel-Lebanon War (2006), and the War on Terror (2001-). The book explores the multi-layered relation between the graphic novel as a popular medium and war as a pivotal recurring experience in human history. The focus on largely overlooked small-scale conflicts contributes not only to advance our understanding of graphic novels about war and the cultural aspects of war as reflected in graphic novels, but also our sense of the early twenty-first century, in which popular media and limited conflicts have become closely interrelated.
How do we come to terms with what can't be forgotten? How do we bear witness to extreme experiences that challenge the limits of language?
This remarkable volume explores the emotional, political, and aesthetic dimensions of testimonies to trauma as they translate private anguish into public space. Nancy K. Miller and Jason Tougaw have assembled a collection of essays that trace the legacy of the Holocaust and subsequent events that have shaped twentieth-century history and still haunt contemporary culture. Extremities combines personal and scholarly approaches to a wide range of texts that bear witness to shocking and moving accounts of individual trauma: Toni Morrison's Beloved, Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus," Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss, Tatana Kellner's Holocaust art, Ruth Klüger's powerful memoir Still Alive, and Binjamin Wilkomirski's controversial narrative of concentration camp suffering Fragments. The book grapples with the cultural and social effects of historical crises, including the Montreal Massacre, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the medical catastrophes of HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.
Developing insights from autobiography, psychoanalysis, feminist theory and gender studies, the authors demonstrate that testimonies of troubling and taboo subjects do more than just add to the culture of confession–-they transform identities and help reimagine the boundaries of community. Extremities offers an original and timely interpretive guide to the growing field of trauma studies. The volume includes essays by Ross Chambers, Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and others.
In Holocaust Graphic Narratives, Victoria Aarons demonstrates the range and fluidity of this richly figured genre. Employing memory as her controlling trope, Aarons analyzes the work of the graphic novelists and illustrators, making clear how they extend the traumatic narrative of the Holocaust into the present and, in doing so, give voice to survival in the wake of unrecoverable loss. In recreating moments of traumatic rupture, dislocation, and disequilibrium, these graphic narratives contribute to the evolving field of Holocaust representation and establish a new canon of visual memory. The intergenerational dialogue established by Aarons’ reading of these narratives speaks to the on-going obligation to bear witness to the Holocaust. Examined together, these intergenerational works bridge the erosions created by time and distance. As a genre of witnessing, these graphic stories, in retracing the traumatic tracks of memory, inscribe the weight of history on generations that follow.
Introducing a posthumanist concept of nostalgia to analyze steadily widening themes of animality, home, travel, slavery, shopping, and war in U.S. literature after 1945
In the Anthropocene, as climate change renders environments less stable, the human desire for place underscores the weakness of the individual in the face of the world. In this book, Ryan Hediger introduces a distinctive notion of homesickness, one in which the longing for place demonstrates not only human vulnerability but also intersubjectivity beyond the human. Arguing that this feeling is unavoidable and characteristically posthumanist, Hediger studies the complex mix of attitudes toward home, the homely, and the familiar in an age of resurgent cosmopolitanism, especially eco-cosmopolitanism.
Homesickness closely examines U.S. literature mostly after 1945, including prominent writers such as Annie Proulx, Marilynne Robinson, and Ernest Hemingway, in light of the challenges and themes of the Anthropocene. Hediger argues that our desire for home is shorthand for a set of important hopes worth defending—serious and genuine relationships to places and their biotic regimes and landforms; membership in vital cultures, human and nonhuman; resistance to capital-infused forms of globalization that flatten differences and turn life and place into mere resources. Our homesickness, according to Hediger, is inevitable because the self is necessarily constructed with reference to the material past. Therefore, homesickness is not something to dismiss as nostalgic or reactionary but is rather a structure of feeling to come to terms with and even to cultivate.
Recasting an expansive range of fields through the lens of homesickness—from ecocriticism to animal studies and disability studies, (eco)philosophy to posthumanist theory—Homesickness speaks not only to the desire for a physical structure or place but also to a wide range of longings and dislocations, including those related to subjectivity, memory, bodies, literary form, and language.
For René Girard, human life revolves around mimetic desire, which regularly manifests itself in acquisitive rivalry when we find ourselves wanting an object because another wants it also. Noting that mimetic desire is driven by our sense of inadequacy or insufficiency, Girard arrives at a profound insight: our desire is not fundamentally directed toward the other’s object but toward the other’s being. We perceive the other to possess a fullness of being we lack. Mimetic desire devolves into violence when our quest after the being of the other remains unfulfilled. So pervasive is mimetic desire that Girard describes it as an ontological illness. In Intimate Domain, Reineke argues that it is necessary to augment Girard’s mimetic theory if we are to give a full account of the sickness he describes. Attending to familial dynamics Girard has overlooked and reclaiming aspects of his early theorizing on sensory experience, Reineke utilizes psychoanalytic theory to place Girard’s mimetic theory on firmer ground. Drawing on three exemplary narratives—Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Sophocles’s Antigone, and Julia Kristeva’s The Old Man and the Wolves—the author explores familial relationships. Together, these narratives demonstrate that a corporeal hermeneutics founded in psychoanalytic theory can usefully augment Girard’s insights, thereby ensuring that mimetic theory remains a definitive resource for all who seek to understand humanity’s ontological illness and identify a potential cure.
When everything fell apart for Lynn Melnick, she went to Dollywood. It was perhaps an unusual refuge. The theme park, partly owned by and wholly named for Dolly Parton, celebrates a country music legend who grew up in church and in poverty in rural Tennessee. Yet Dollywood is exactly where Melnick—a poet, urbanite, and daughter of a middle-class Jewish family—needed to be. Because Melnick, like the musician she adores, is a survivor.
In this bracing memoir, Melnick explores Parton’s dual identities as feminist icon and objectified sex symbol—identities that reflect the author’s own fraught history with rape culture and the grueling effort to reclaim her voice in the wake of loss and trauma. Each chapter engages with the artistry and cultural impact of one of Parton’s songs, as Melnick reckons with violence, creativity, parenting, abortion, sex work, love, and the consolations and cruelties of religion. Guided by Parton’s music, Melnick walks the slow path to recovery in the company of those who came before her and stand with her, as trauma is an experience both unique and universal. Candid and discerning, I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive is at once a memoir and a love song—a story about one life and about an artist who has brought life to millions.
In Lifelines Harris Solomon takes readers into the trauma ward of one of Mumbai’s busiest public hospitals, narrating the stories of the patients, providers, and families who experience and care for traumatic injuries due to widespread traffic accidents. He traces trauma’s moves after the accident: from scenes of road and railway injuries to ambulance interiors; through emergency triage, surgery, and intensive care; and from the morgue for patients who do not survive into the homes of those who do. These pathways reveal how trauma shifts inequalities, infrastructures, and institutions through the lives and labors of clinical spaces. Solomon contends that medicine itself must be understood in terms of lifelines: patterns of embodied movement that determine survival. In reflecting on the centrality of traffic to life, Lifelines explores a fundamental question: How does medicine move us?
“Coming of age” in children’s fiction often means achieving maturity through the experience of trauma. In classics ranging from Old Yeller to The Outsiders, a narrative of psychological pain defies expectations of childhood as a time of innocence and play. In this provocative new book, Eric L. Tribunella explores why trauma, especially the loss of a loved object, occurs in some of the most popular and critically acclaimed twentieth-century American fiction for children.
Tribunella draws on queer theory and feminist revisions of Freud’s notion of melancholia, which is described as a fundamental response to loss, arguing that the low-grade symptoms of melancholia are in fact what characterize the mature, sober, and responsible American adult. Melancholia and Maturation looks at how this effect is achieved in a society that purports to protect youngsters from every possible source of danger, thus requiring melancholia to be induced artificially.
Each of the book’s five chapters focuses on a different kind of lost object sacrificed so as to propel the child toward a distinctively gendered, sexual, ethical, and national adulthood—from same-sex friends to the companionship of boy-and-his-dog stories, from the lost ideals of historical fiction about the American Revolution to the children killed or traumatized in Holocaust novels. The author examines a wide spectrum of works—including Jack London’s dog tales, the contemporary “realistic” novels of S. E. Hinton, and Newbery Medal winners like Johnny Tremain and Bridge to Terabithia.
Tribunella raises fundamental questions about the value of children’s literature as a whole and provides context for understanding why certain books become required reading for youth.
Eric L. Tribunella is assistant professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. His articles have been published in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Children’s Literature in Education, The Lion and the Unicorn: A Critical Journal of Children’s Literature, and Children’s Literature.
The first of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the first encounter in 1540 until the eve of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. By comparing and contrasting Spanish documents with Hopi oral traditions, the editors portray a balanced presentation of their shared past. Translations of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century documents written by Spanish explorers, colonial officials, and Franciscan missionaries tell the perspectives of the European visitors, and oral traditions recounted by Hopi elders reveal the Indigenous experience.
The editors argue that the Spanish record is incomplete, and only the Hopi perspective can balance the story. The Spanish documentary record (and by extension the documentary record of any European or Euro-American colonial power) is biased and distorted, according to the editors, who assert there are enormous silences about Hopi responses to Spanish missionization and colonization. The only hope of correcting those weaknesses is to record and analyze Hopi oral traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation, and give voice to Hopi values and Hopi social memories of what was a traumatic period in their past.
Spanish abuses during missionization—which the editors address specifically and directly as the sexual exploitation of Hopi women, suppression of Hopi ceremonies, and forced labor of Hopis—drove Hopis to the breaking point, inspiring a Hopi revitalization that led them to participate in the Pueblo Revolt. Those abuses, the revolt, and the resistance that followed remain as open wounds in Hopi society today.
The second in a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam, Volume II, 1680–1781 continues the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 through the Spanish expeditions in search of a land route to Alta California until about 1781. By comparing and contrasting Spanish documents with Hopi oral traditions, the editors present a balanced presentation of a shared past. Translations of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century documents written by Spanish explorers, colonial officials, and Franciscan missionaries tell the perspectives of the European visitors, and oral traditions recounted by Hopi elders reveal the Indigenous experience.
The editors argue that only the Hopi perspective can balance the story recounted in the Spanish documentary record, which is biased, distorted, and incomplete (as is the documentary record of any European or Euro-American colonial power). The only hope of correcting those weaknesses and the enormous silences about the Hopi responses to Spanish missionization and colonization is to record and analyze Hopi oral traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation since 1540, and to give voice to Hopi values and social memories of what was a traumatic period in their past.
Volume I documented Spanish abuses during missionization, which the editors address specifically and directly as the sexual exploitation of Hopi women, suppression of Hopi ceremonies, and forced labor of Hopi men and women. These abuses drove Hopis to the breaking point, inspiring a Hopi revitalization that led them to participate in the Pueblo Revolt and to rebuff all subsequent efforts to reestablish Franciscan missions and Spanish control. Volume II portrays the Hopi struggle to remain independent at its most effective—a mixture of diplomacy, negotiation, evasion, and armed resistance. Nonetheless, the abuses of Franciscan missionaries, the bloodshed of the Pueblo Revolt, and the subsequent destruction of the Hopi community of Awat’ovi on Antelope Mesa remain historical traumas that still wound Hopi society today.
Public commemorations of various kinds are an important part of how groups large and small acknowledge and process injustices and tragic events. Performing Commemoration: Musical Reenactment and the Politics of Trauma looks at the roles music can play in public commemorations of traumatic events that range from the Armenian genocide and World War I to contemporary violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the #sayhername protests. Whose version of a traumatic historical event gets told is always a complicated question, and music adds further layers to this complexity, particularly music without words. The three sections of this collection look at different facets of musical commemorations and reenactments, focusing on how music can mediate, but also intensify responses to social injustice; how reenactments and their use of music are shifting (and not always toward greater social effectiveness); and how claims for musical authenticity are politicized in various ways. By engaging with critical theory around memory studies and performance studies, the contributors to this volume explore social justice, in, and through music.
Photography is often associated with the psychic effects of trauma: the automatic nature of the process, wide-open camera lens, and light-sensitive film record chance details unnoticed by the photographer—similar to what happens when a traumatic event bypasses consciousness and lodges deeply in the unconscious mind. Photography, Trace, and Trauma takes a groundbreaking look at photographic art and works in other media that explore this important analogy.
Examining photography and film, molds, rubbings, and more, Margaret Iversen considers how these artistic processes can be understood as presenting or simulating a residue, trace, or “index” of a traumatic event. These approaches, which involve close physical contact or the short-circuiting of artistic agency, are favored by artists who wish to convey the disorienting effect and elusive character of trauma. Informing the work of a number of contemporary artists—including Tacita Dean, Jasper Johns, Mary Kelly, Gabriel Orozco, and Gerhard Richter—the concept of the trace is shown to be vital for any account of the aesthetics of trauma; it has left an indelible mark on the history of photography and art as a whole.
The work of the renowned Israeli poet, translator, peace activist, and 1998 Israel Prize laureate Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936–2005) portrays the emotional structure of a traumatized and victimized female character. Ilana Szobel’s book, the first full-length study of Ravikovitch in English, offers a theoretical discussion of the poetics of trauma and the politics of victimhood, as well as a rethinking of the notions of activity and passivity, strength and weakness. Analyzing the deep structure embodied in Ravikovitch’s work, Szobel unearths the interconnectedness of Ravikovitch’s private-poetic subjectivity and Israeli national identity, and shows how her unique poetics can help readers overcome cultural biases and sympathetically engage otherness.
Aceh is a region that is no stranger to violent conflict and tragedy. This special territory of Indonesia has faced occupation, fallen into civil war, and was brutalized by the deadly 2004 tsunami. While these forces have altered the lives of the Aceh people, their very experiences of suffering and recovery have changed thanks to the globalization of psychiatry.
In this book, Catherine Smith examines the global reach of the contested, yet compelling, concept of trauma. She explores how what is considered “trauma” has expanded well beyond the bounds of therapeutic practice to become a powerful cultural idiom shaping the ways people understand the effects of violence and imagine possible responses to suffering. In Aceh, conflict survivors have incorporated the ideas of trauma into their local languages, healing practices, and political imaginaries. The appearance of this idiom of distress into the Acehnese medical-moral landscape provides an ethnographic perspective on suffering and recovery, and contributes to our contemporary debates about the international reach of psychiatry and the cultural consequences as it spreads beyond the domain of medicine.
Victoria Aarons and Alan L. Berger show that Holocaust literary representation has continued to flourish well into the twenty-first century—gaining increased momentum even as its perspective shifts, as a third generation adds its voice to the chorus of post-Holocaust writers. In negotiating the complex thematic imperatives and narrative conceits of the literature of third-generation writers, this bold new work examines those structures, tropes, patterns, ironies, disjunctions, and overall tensions that produce a literature that laments unrecoverable loss for a generation removed spatially and temporally from the extended trauma of the Holocaust. Aarons and Berger address evolving notions of “postmemory”; the intergenerational and ongoing transmission of trauma; issues of Jewish cultural identity; inherited memory; the psychological tensions of post-Holocaust Jewish identity; the characteristic tropes of memory and the personalized narrative voice; issues of generational dislocation and anxiety; the recurrent antagonisms of assimilation and historical alienation; the imaginative re-creation and reconstruction of the past; and the future of Holocaust memory and representation.
Trauma: A Genealogy
Ruth Leys University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress RC552.T7L49 2000 | Dewey Decimal 616.8521
Psychic trauma is one of the most frequently invoked ideas in the behavioral sciences and the humanities today. Yet bitter disputes have marked the discussion of trauma ever since it first became an issue in the 1870s, growing even more heated in recent years following official recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In a book that is bound to ignite controversy, Ruth Leys investigates the history of the concept of trauma. She explores the emergence of multiple personality disorder, Freud's approaches to trauma, medical responses to shellshock and combat fatigue, Sándor Ferenczi's revisions of psychoanalysis, and the mutually reinforcing, often problematic work of certain contemporary neurobiological and postmodernist theorists. Leys argues that the concept of trauma has always been fundamentally unstable, oscillating uncontrollably between two competing models, each of which tends at its limit to collapse into the other.
A powerfully argued work of intellectual history, Trauma will rewrite the terms of future discussion of its subject.
Trauma and Dreams
Deirdre. Barrett Harvard University Press, 1996 Library of Congress RC489.D74T73 1996 | Dewey Decimal 616.8521
According to the poet Elias Canetti, "All the things one has forgotten / scream for help in dreams." To the ancient Egyptians they were prophecies, and in world folklore they have often marked visitations from the dead. For Freud they were expressions of "wish fulfillment," and for Jung, symbolic representations of mythical archetypes. Although there is still much disagreement about the significance and function of dreams, they seem to serve as a barometer of current mind and body states.
In this volume, Deirdre Barrett brings together the study of dreams and the psychology of trauma. She has called on a distinguished group of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers--among them Rosalind Cartwright, Robert J. Lifton, and Oliver Sacks--to consider how trauma shapes dreaming and what the dreaming mind might reveal about trauma. The book focuses on catastrophic events, such as combat, political torture, natural disasters, and rape. The lasting effects of childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse or severe burns, on personality formation, the nature of memories of early trauma, and the development of defenses related to amnesia and dissociation are all considered. The book also takes up trauma and adult dreams, including Vietnam veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Holocaust survivors and perpetrators, rape victims, and firestorm survivors. Finally, this volume concludes with a look at the potential "traumas of normal life," such as divorce, bereavement, and life-threatening illness, and the role of dreams in working through normal grief and loss.
Taken together, these diverse perspectives illuminate the universal and the particular effects of traumatic experience. For physicians and clinicians, determining the etiology of nightmares offers valuable diagnostic and therapeutic insights for individual treatment. This book provides a way of juxtaposing the research in the separate fields of trauma and dreams, and learning from their discoveries.
An increasing number of students and professionals are choosing to travel the globe to engage with the realities of trauma and human suffering through mental health aid. But in the field of global mental health, good intentions are not enough to ensure good training, development, and care. The risk of harm is real when outsiders deliver mental health aid in culturally inappropriate and otherwise naïve ways. This book, based on the experiences of the co-editors and their colleagues at Burma Border Projects (BBP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mental health and psychosocial well-being of the displaced people of Burma, sets out global mental health theory allied with local perspectives, experiences, real-life challenges, strengths, and best practices. Topics include assessment and intervention protocols, vulnerable groups and the special challenges they present, and supervision and evaluation programs. An introduction by the editors establishes the political and health contexts for the volume. Written in a style appropriate for academic audiences and lay readers, this book will serve as a fundamental text for clinicians, interns, volunteers, and researchers who work in regions of the world that have suffered the violence of war, forced displacement, human rights violations, poverty, and oppression.
A theoretical and exegetical exploration of trauma in the Hebrew Bible
David Janzen discusses the concepts of history and trauma and contrasts the ways historians and trauma survivors grapple with traumatic events, a contrast embodied in the very different ways the books of Kings and Lamentations react to the destruction of Jerusalem. Janzen’s study warns that explanations in histories will tend to silence the voices of trauma survivors, and it challenges traditional approaches that sometimes portray the explanations of traumatic events in biblical literature as therapeutic for victims.
Exploration of history as a narrative explanation that creates a past readers can recognize to be true
Examination of how trauma results in a failure of victims to fully experience or remember traumatic events.
A case for why the past is a construction of cultures and historians
Argentina’s repressive 1976–83 dictatorship, during which an estimated thirty thousand people were “disappeared,” prompted the postauthoritarian administrations and human rights groups to encourage public exposure of past crimes and traumas. Truth commissions, trials, and other efforts have aimed to break the silence and give voice to the voiceless. Yet despite these many reckonings, there are still silences, taboos, and unanswerable questions.
Nancy J. Gates-Madsen reads between the lines of Argentine cultural texts (fiction, drama, testimonial narrative, telenovela, documentary film) to explore the fundamental role of silence—the unsaid—in the expression of trauma. Her careful examination of the interplay between textual and contextual silences illuminates public debate about the meaning of memory in Argentina—which stories are being told and, more important, which are being silenced. The imposition of silence is not limited to the military domain or its apologists, she shows; the human rights community also perpetuates and creates taboos.
Claudia Garcia crossed the border because her toddler, Natalia, could not hear. Leaving behind everything she knew in Mexico, Claudia recounts the terror of migrating alone with her toddler and the incredible challenges she faced advocating for her daughter’s health in the United States. When she arrived in Texas, Claudia discovered that being undocumented would mean more than just an immigration status—it would be a way of living, of mothering, and of being discarded by even those institutions we count on to care.
Elizabeth Farfán-Santos spent five years with Claudia. As she listened to Claudia’s experiences, she recalled her own mother’s story, another life molded by migration, the US-Mexico border, and the quest for a healthy future on either side. Witnessing Claudia’s struggles with doctors and teachers, we see how the education and medical systems enforce undocumented status and perpetuate disability. At one point, in the midst of advocating for her daughter, Claudia suddenly finds herself struck by debilitating pain. Claudia is lifted up by her comadres, sent to the doctor, and reminded why she must care for herself.
A braided narrative that speaks to the power of stories for creating connection, this book reveals what remains undocumented in the motherhood of Mexican women who find themselves making impossible decisions and multiple sacrifices as they build a future for their families.
2013 Outstanding Book Award, Critical Cultural Studies division of the National Communication Association
Will Smith in I Am Legend. Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. Charlton Heston in just about everything.
Viewers of Hollywood action films are no doubt familiar with the sacrificial victim-hero, the male protagonist who nobly gives up his life so that others may be saved. Washed in Blood argues that such sacrificial films are especially prominent in eras when the nation—and American manhood—is thought to be in crisis. The sacrificial victim-hero, continually imperiled and frequently exhibiting classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, thus bears the trauma of the nation.
Claire Sisco King offers an in-depth study of three prominent cycles of Hollywood films that follow the sacrificial narrative: the early–to–mid 1970s, the mid–to–late 1990s, and the mid–to–late 2000s. From Vietnam-era disaster movies to post-9/11 apocalyptic thrillers, she examines how each film represents traumatized American masculinity and national identity. What she uncovers is a cinematic tendency to position straight white men as America’s most valuable citizens—and its noblest victims.