Still Here: Memoirs of Trauma, Illness and Loss explores the history, ethics, and cross-cultural range of memoirs focusing on illness, death, loss, displacement, and other experiences of trauma. From Walt Whitman’s Civil War diaries to kitchen table survivor-to-survivor storytelling following Hurricane Katrina, from social media posts from a refugee detention centre, to poetry by exiles fleeing war zones, the collection investigates trauma memoir writing as healing, as documentation of suffering and disability, and as political activism. Editors Bunty Avieson, Fiona Giles and Sue Joseph have brought together this scholarly collection as a sequel to their earlier Mediating Memory (Routledge 2018), providing a closer look at the specific concerns of trauma memoir, including conflict and intergenerational trauma; the therapeutic potential and risks of trauma life writing; its ethical challenges; and trauma memoir giving voice to minority experiences.
Table of Contents
Bunty Avieson, Fiona Giles, and Sue Joseph
Part I Marginalities
1. Rewriting the Ontological Self-Following the Loss of the Communication Senses
2. Memoir and Mental Disability: A Call to Action
3. A Memoir on Writing Memoir: Navigating the Past to Find Voice in the Present
Part II Histories
4. Writing Trauma: The Other Into the Story of The Self
5. Modelling The Good Death in Memoir
Donna Lee Brien
6. Trauma’s Interior History: Walt Whitman’s Civil War and Sequelae
Part III Practices
7. Listening With Feeling: Emotional Labour and Digital Storytelling in Dementia Care Education
Nicole Matthews and Naomi Sutherland
8. Survivor to Survivor Story-Telling After Hurricane Katrina
9. Life-Writing and Incremental Healing: Word by Word, Year by Year
Part IV Ethics
10. Investigating Ethics in the Young Widow Memoir
Katrin Den Elzin
11. Breaking Conventions, Crossing Genres: Motherhood and Memoir in the Age of Surrogacy
12. Spit Us Out Whole: Voicing the Double Wound in Carol Dine’s Places in the Bone: A Memoir
Part V Exile
13. ‘Still Mauled but Constructive New Lives’: Trauma Memoirs in 20th Century American Prison Writing
14. Becoming Refugee: Poetics and Politics of Representation and Displacement in Refugees’ poetry
15. A Call to Action: Behrouz Boochani Manus Island Prison Narratives
Dr. Bunty Avieson is a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.
Dr. Fiona Giles is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.
Dr. Sue Joseph is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.