AICED-21: Trauma, Narrative, Responsibility

Страна: Румыния

Город: Bucharest

Тезисы до: 30.03.2019

Даты: 06.06.19 — 08.06.19

Е-мейл Оргкомитета:

Организаторы: English Department, University of Bucharest


In recent years, since Cathy Caruth’s Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History (1996) and Dominick LaCapra’s Writing History, Writing Trauma (2001), trauma studies has developed continuously as a field of research. This follows primarily the increasing recognition of the Holocaust and its intergenerational aftermath, as well as of the victims of genocide, mass persecution, war and terror (see especially Marianne Hirsch, The Generation of Postmemory, 2012 and Astrid Erll, “Generation in Literary History,” 2014). In Eastern Europe after 1989, the need to rewrite history in a “truthful” way, free from the ideological contamination of left-wing dictatorships, has foregrounded the importance of remembering, unveiling, narrating and repairing the collective and individual traumas embedded in the memory of the contemporary world (see Uilleam Blacker, Alexander Etkind and Julie Fedor’s Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe, 2013; Georges Mink and Laure Neumayer’s Memory Games, 2013).

        Narratives of and discourses on trauma – as a result of, for example, abuse, accident, illness, oppression, war – have become pervasive in global culture and they circulate in a wide variety of forms including blogs, films, videos, social media postings, legal testimonies, print articles and books. They often evoke strong emotions and provoke action, as perhaps best reflected in Nancy K. Miller and Jason Tougaw’s edited collection Extremities. Trauma, Testimony and Community (2002). Many scholars have especially developed these directions of research by conducting analyses of the representations of trauma in literary and media culture (see especially Ann Kaplan’s Trauma Culture, 2005 and Anne Rothe’s Popular Trauma Culture, 2011). Furthermore, Leigh Gilmore (“‘What Was I?’ Literary Witness and the Testimonial Archive,” 2011; Tainted Witness, 2017) has focused on how literary narratives of trauma contribute to legal and human rights discourses of trauma with genre-specific and gender-specific alternative forms of witnessing and agency. Such scholarly concerns give rise to significant questions that AICED 2019 will address: how should those involved in the analysis of both past and present factual and fictional narrative and discourse, as cultural and literary critics, historians and scholars, understand and analyze them in ways that are both sensitive to the experiences narrated and discussed, and intellectually and ethically responsible?


        Possible topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

– narrating collective trauma, mass repression and genocide

– parallel histories of collective trauma: the Holocaust, African American slavery, communist repression

– responsible responses to trauma and forms of exclusion (race, gender, ethnicity, religion)

– personal trauma as reflected on the human psyche

– the impact of individual trauma upon family and community

– repressed trauma – a generator of inadequacy and suffering

– trauma, memory and recovery

– narrative as reparation of trauma

– genres of narrative and trauma (specifics of literary, visual, legal, oral, human rights narratives)

– reflections of trauma in the visual and performing arts

– physical, emotional and spiritual reverberations of trauma

– individual, collective and institutionalized accounts of trauma

– the ethics of representing personal and collective trauma

– the affective dimension of trauma representation and reception 

– the transcultural, transnational and transgenerational transmission of trauma narratives and discourses

– the representation of perpetrators and perpetrator trauma

– the politics of trauma, narrative and responsibility in a globalized world

– the trauma of exile and its impact over generations

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