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
- History of Trauma Theory
- Philosophies of Trauma
- Trauma, Poststructuralism and Ethics
- Theories of Cultural Trauma
- Trauma and Cultural Memory Studies
- Trauma, Time and Address
- Perpetrator Trauma
- Screen Memory
Part 2: Key Concepts
Part 3: Critical Perspectives and Future Directions
17. Cosmological Trauma and Postcolonial Modernity
Sam Durrant and Ryan Topper
18. Trauma and the Implicated Subject
19. Transcultural Empathy
20. Cognitive Approaches to Trauma and Literature
21. Trauma, Critical Posthumanism and New Materialism
Deniz Gundogan Ibrisim
22. Trauma Studies in the Digital Age
23. Reading Literatures of Trauma in the Age of Globalization
24. Trauma, Illness and Narrative in the Medical Humanities
25. Climate Trauma
Part 4: Genres and Media
26. Trauma and Fiction
27. Trauma and Poetry
28. Trauma and Life Writing
29. Graphic Narratives as Trauma Fiction
30. Trauma and Drama/Theatre/Performance
31. Trauma and Photography
32. Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and the Future Anterior
Part 5: Places and Events
33. Trauma in Holocaust Literature
34. The German Occupation of France, 1940-44
35. The Vietnam War
36. The Rwandan Genocide
38. The Iraq War
40. Transgenerational Nuclear Trauma
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.