The Trauma Question  book cover
1st Edition

The Trauma Question

ISBN 9780415402712
Published July 29, 2008 by Routledge
256 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this book, Roger Luckhurst both introduces and advances the fields of cultural memory and trauma studies, tracing the ways in which ideas of trauma have become a major element in contemporary Western conceptions of the self.

The Trauma Question outlines the origins of the concept of trauma across psychiatric, legal and cultural-political sources from the 1860s to the coining of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 1980. It further explores the nature and extent of ‘trauma culture’ from 1980 to the present, drawing upon a range of cultural practices from literature, memoirs and confessional journalism through to photography and film. The study covers a diverse range of cultural works, including writers such as Toni Morrison, Stephen King and W. G. Sebald, artists Tracey Emin, Christian Boltanski and Tracey Moffatt, and film-makers David Lynch and Atom Egoyan.

The Trauma Question offers a significant and fascinating step forward for those seeking a greater understanding of the controversial and ever-expanding field of trauma research.


Table of Contents

Introduction  Part One: Etymology  1. The Genealogy of a Concept  Part Two: Cultural Symptoms  Introduction: Trauma and Narrative Knowledge  2. Trauma in Narrative Fiction  3. My So-Called Life: The Memoir Boom  4. The Intrusive Image: Photography and Trauma  5. Flashbacks, Mosaics and Loops: Trauma and Narrative Cinema  Afterward  Bibiography

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Roger Luckhurst teaches in the School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of "The Angle Between the Walls": The Fiction of J.G. Ballard (1997), The Invention of Telepathy (2002) and  Science Fiction (2005).