Throughout the past century, traumatic experiences have been re-enacted frequently by evolving media and art forms. Now there is a significant body of theory across academic disciplines focused on the representation of cataclysmic European and US historical events. However, less critical attention has been devoted to the representation of havoc outside the West, even though depictions of Third-World disasters saturate contemporary media and art around the globe.
This book considers traumatic histories internationally in a broad range of creative arts and visual media representations. Deploying diverse applications of the conventional theories of trauma, it examines the theoretical limitations at the same time as considering alternative methodologies. Interrogating Trauma is concerned with the examination of the concept of trauma, and how it is (often unproblematically) used to theorise the cultural representation of disaster and atrocity. It offers a theorisation of trauma, in order to reappraise the relationship between cultural representation and the socio-historical processes which are marked by violence, conflict and suffering.
This book was published as a special issue of Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies.
Acknowledgements 1. Interrogating trauma: Towards a critical trauma studies - Mick Broderick and Antonio Traverso 2. Caché: Or what the past hides - Susannah Radstone 3. Torturous dialogues: Geographies of trauma and spaces of exception - Suvendrini Perera 4. Moving testimonies and the geography of suffering: Perils and fantasies of belonging after Katrina - Janet Walker 5. After the Apology: Re-framing violence and suffering in First Australians, Australia, and Samson and Delilah - Felicity Collins 6. Confronting ‘choiceless choices’ in Holocaust videotestimonies: Judgement, ‘privileged’ Jews, and the role of the interviewer - Adam Brown 7. The guilt zone: Trauma, masochism and the ethics of spectatorship in Brian De Palma’s Redacted - Mark Straw 8. When places have agency: Roadside shrines as traumascapes - Catherine Collins and Alexandra Opie 9. Trauma, bodies, and Performance Art: Towards an embodied ethics of seeing - Sophie Oliver 10. Poetic witnessing in the archive: The database narrative of Life after wartime - David Carlin 11. Bearing witness to the trauma of slavery in Kara Walker’s videos: Testimony, Eight possible beginnings, and I was transported - Vivien Fryd 12. Depiction or erasure? Violence and trauma in contemporary Peruvian film - Iliana Pagán-Teitelbaum 13. Dictatorship memories: Working through trauma in Chilean post-dictatorship documentary - Antonio Traverso