1st Edition

Trauma, Posttraumatic Growth, and World Literature Metamorphoses and a Literary Arts Praxis

By Suzanne LaLonde Copyright 2022
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Pandemics, global climate chaos, worldwide migration crises? These phenomena are provoking traumatic experiences in unprecedented ways and numbers. This book is targeted for clinicians, scientists, cultural theorists, and other scholars and students of trauma studies interested in cultivating interdisciplinary understandings of trauma and posttraumatic conditions, especially resistance, resilience, and posttraumatic growth. Following clinicians’ invitation for trauma survivors to wear a philosopher’s hat, to engage in creative activities, and to employ cognitive exercises to combat psychic constriction, I introduce the concept of a Literary Arts Praxis. The Praxis is built on clinical research and literature seeped in existential, phenomenological, and aesthetic themes. I argue that an educational training in a Praxis might help trauma survivors to get at trauma, as they engage in imaginative escapades, while forging alliances with characters; interpretative exercises, such as triggering emotions through phenomenological experiences; and creative writing endeavors, that include turning testimonies into imaginative stories.

    Introduction: Pedagogy, Trauma, and Posttraumatic Growth, Part I: An Evolution of Key Concepts and Terms, Chapter I: Embryonic Concepts of Trauma and Traumatism from the Humanities, Chapter II: The Birth of the Terms Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Part II: A Gallery of Trauma Studies, Chapter III: Landscapes of Contemporary Scientific Trauma Theories, Chapter IV: A Portrait of Cultural Trauma Studies, Part III: Treatments and Educations for Trauma Survivors, Chapter V: Clinical Treatments for Posttraumatic Conditions, Chapter VI: Metamorphoses of the Mind and a Literary Arts Praxis, Part IV: Engaging in a Literary Arts Praxis and World Literature, Introduction to Part IV: The Foreign and Familiar of World Literature, Chapter VII: The Trauma of Aging and Reading Adventures with Miguel de Cervantes, Chapter VIII: The Trauma of a Plague and Creative Writing Exercises with Albert Camus, Chapter IX: Childhood Trauma and Imaginative Escapades with Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Conclusion: Summing up and Sailing forward


    Suzanne LaLonde holds a Ph.D. in French Language and Literature and has served as an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and serves currently as a Humanities Instructor in the Honors College at Texas Tech University. Her areas of research have centered on French and Francophone Literature, World Literature, Trauma Studies, Psychoanalysis, and Ecocriticism. In her book Paris and Its Revolutionary Ideas (2020), she invites readers to reconsider the concept of revolutions, which take place in minds and hearts, through an exposure to the arts populating the Parisian landscape. Her teaching record and interests center on French Culture, European Art History, Humanities Driven STEM courses, and Medical Humanities classses, including "Narratives of Illness and Reflective Writing" and "World Literature and Global Health".

    "Dr. Lalonde presents a deeply creative and interdisciplinary path for clinicians, artists, humanists, and trauma survivors to develop novel ways of thinking about and healing from traumatic experiences. Her ideas and explorations of the relationship between trauma, resilience, and literature will deeply touch anyone who has found solace in immersing themselves in the literary world." Dr. Alix Rivière, Childhood Trauma Research and Policy Analyst at the Office of the Child Advocate of Massachusetts

    "Humanizing and transformative! Dr. LaLonde provides a unique perspective on trauma and post-traumatic growth applying a humanities and literature lens supported by anecdotical data, narratives, and her own experiences working in academia and classroom settings. While discussing the main contributions of neurologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, medical anthropologists and other relevant disciplines, the author takes the audience on a historical journey from the beginnings of how trauma has been conceptualized over time and further discusses the significance of resilience and post-traumatic growth. A wonderful book for current and future professionals and practitioners working in the field of trauma and resilience to develop an interdisciplinary perspective." Dr. Elizabeth Trejos, Professor at Texas Tech University