The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma

ISBN 9781138494923
Published May 28, 2020 by Routledge
496 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Literary trauma studies is a rapidly developing field which examines how literature deals with the personal and cultural aspects of trauma and engages with such historical and current phenomena as the Holocaust and other genocides, 9/11, climate catastrophe or the still unsettled legacy of colonialism.

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma is a comprehensive guide to the history and theory of trauma studies, including key concepts, consideration of critical perspectives and discussion of future developments. It also explores different genres and media, such as poetry, life-writing, graphic narratives, photography and post-apocalyptic fiction, and analyses how literature engages with particular traumatic situations and events, such as the Holocaust, the Occupation of France, the Rwandan genocide, Hurricane Katrina and transgenerational nuclear trauma.

Forty essays from top thinkers in the field demonstrate the range and vitality of trauma studies as it has been used to further the understanding of literature and other cultural forms across the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Literary Trauma Studies

Colin Davis and Hanna Meretoja

Part 1: Sources and Inspirations

    1. History of Trauma Theory
    2. Nicole Sütterlin

    3. Philosophies of Trauma
    4. Hanna Meretoja

    5. Trauma, Poststructuralism and Ethics
    6. Colin Davis

    7. Theories of Cultural Trauma
    8. Todd Madigan

    9. Trauma and Cultural Memory Studies
    10. Rosanne Kennedy

    11. Testimony
    12. Meg Jensen

    13. Trauma, Time and Address
    14. Cathy Caruth

      Part 2: Key Concepts

    15. Victimhood
    16. Susana Onega

    17. Perpetrator Trauma
    18. Erin McGlothlin

    19. Witnessing
    20. Carolyn Dean

    21. Screen Memory
    22. Max Silverman

    23. Working-Through
    24. Jean-Michel Ganteau

    25. Affect
    26. Andreea Ritivoi

    27. Narrative
    28. Jakob Lothe

    29. Gender
    30. Sharon Marquart

    31. Intersectionality

Kaisa Ilmonen

Part 3: Critical Perspectives and Future Directions

17. Cosmological Trauma and Postcolonial Modernity

Sam Durrant and Ryan Topper

18. Trauma and the Implicated Subject

Michael Rothberg

19. Transcultural Empathy

Katja Garloff

20. Cognitive Approaches to Trauma and Literature

Joshua Pederson

21. Trauma, Critical Posthumanism and New Materialism

Deniz Gundogan Ibrisim

22. Trauma Studies in the Digital Age

Anna Menyhért

23. Reading Literatures of Trauma in the Age of Globalization

Kaisa Kaakinen

24. Trauma, Illness and Narrative in the Medical Humanities

Jo Winning

25. Climate Trauma

Stef Craps

Part 4: Genres and Media

26. Trauma and Fiction

Robert Eaglestone

27. Trauma and Poetry

Charles Armstrong

28. Trauma and Life Writing

Leena Kurvet-Käosaar

29. Graphic Narratives as Trauma Fiction

Katalin Orban

30. Trauma and Drama/Theatre/Performance

Patrick Duggan

31. Trauma and Photography

Cécile Bishop

32. Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and the Future Anterior

Jouni Teittinen

Part 5: Places and Events

33. Trauma in Holocaust Literature

Sue Vice

34. The German Occupation of France, 1940-44

Avril Tynan

35. The Vietnam War

Mark Heberle

36. The Rwandan Genocide

Josias Semujanga

37. 9/11

Lucy Bond

38. The Iraq War

Patrick Deer

39. Katrina

Eric Doise

40. Transgenerational Nuclear Trauma

Gabrielle Schwab

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Colin Davis is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

Hanna Meretoja is Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory at the University of Turku, Finland.


Contributors to this ambitious, far-ranging volume explore the way trauma has been treated in literature, from fiction to testimonial writing and visual media. These explorations, sometimes convergent and at other times divergent, will engage readers across various disciplines and may well offer bases to elaborate further possibilities and limits in the critical understanding of trauma and trauma studies.

Dominick LaCapra