While globalization is often associated with economic and social progress, it has also brought new forms of terrorism, permanent states of emergency, demographic displacement, climate change, and other "natural" disasters. Given these contemporary concerns, one might also view the current time as an age of traumatism. Yet what—or how—does the traumatic event mean in an age of global catastrophe? This volume explores trauma theory in an age of globalization by means of the practice of comparative literature. The essays and interviews in this volume ask how literary studies and the literary anticipate, imagine, or theorize the current global climate, especially in an age when the links between violence, amorphous traumatic events, and economic concerns are felt increasingly in everyday experience. Trauma and Literature in an Age of Globalization turns a literary perspective upon the most urgent issues of globalization—problems of borders, language, inequality, and institutionalized violence—and considers from a variety of perspectives how such events impact our lived experience and its representation in language and literature.
Table of Contents
Jennifer Ballengee and David Kelman
Part I: Trauma, Deconstruction, and Global Relations
1. Globalization and the Theory of Trauma: A Conversation with Cathy Caruth
2. The Cut that Links: Paracomparatism in Caruth and Danticat
3. Common Catastrophes: or, Personification Reconsidered
4. Fugitive Sovereignties in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy: Deconstructing the "Unparalleled Catastrophe" of the Human
Part II: Politics and Literature
5. The Foreign Body in Psychoanalysis and Politics: A Conversation with Elissa Marder
6. Reverberations: Traumatic Histories, Cultural Difference, and the Drama of Listening in Eileen Chang’s Yuannü and The Rouge of the North
7. Some Iterations of Blood
8. "How Very Godfather Part II of you": Trauma and Intertextual Comparison in A Brief History of Seven Killings
9. Framing the World: Texts that Circulate and People Who Cannot
Part III: Literature and Human Rights
10. Literature, the Humanities, and Political Action: A Conversation with Elisabeth Weber
11. Killing Dogs: Animality and Trauma in Waltz with Bashir and Deogratias
12. Flood Poetics: Nigeria, New Orleans, and Oṣundare’s City without People
13. Phantom Work: Refugees, Antigone, Comparative Literature
14. Rights, Politics, and Engagement: A Conversation with Thomas Keenan
Jennifer Ballengee is Martha A. Mitten Professor of Liberal Arts and Director of the Graduate Program in Global Humanities at Towson University. She is the author of The Wound and the Witness: The Rhetoric of Torture (SUNY 2009) and articles in the Yale Journal of Criticism, Modern Language Studies, Ancient Narrative, Literary Imagination, and Post 45, among others. Her work addresses questions of the body, politics, rhetoric, and representation. She is currently finishing a monograph on ruins, tragedy, and national ideology.
David Kelman is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at California State University, Fullerton. He is the author of Counterfeit Politics: Secret Plots and Conspiracy Narratives in the Americas (Bucknell UP, 2012). He is also the author of several articles on the theory and practice of comparison. His work has been published in New Vico Studies, CR: The New Centennial Review, Comparative Literature, Pynchon Notes, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, Mosaic, and Angelaki.