The Trauma Controversy: Philosophical and Interdisciplinary Dialogues

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Overview

More than a psychiatric or spiritual condition, trauma is an experience that exceeds the capacity of language to fix and settle it. As trauma crosses the lives of individuals and erupts into cultural and historical collectivities, it invites comparison with psychological dilemmas. But how best to compare individual and social trauma? What is the relationship between physical trauma and psychic trauma? How do cultures recover from trauma? To address these and other questions, the essays in The Trauma Controversy plumb the significance of various notions of trauma from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. Adopting psychoanalytic, clinical, historical, anthropological, and philosophical frameworks as well as engaging the ideas of a diverse range of thinkers, including Merleau-Ponty, Freud, Foucault, Heidegger, and Kristeva, The Trauma Controversy takes a productive and important step in advancing our understanding of trauma.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Undoubtedly, this volume of essays offers a very interesting and thought-provoking look at trauma research, revealing and discussing the ostensibly resolved problems, which are regarded here from different and unexpected points of view.” — H-Net Reviews (H-Ideas)

“…a highly thought-provoking collection, with a broad scope, which is destined to become a classic … It will be required reading for those working in Holocaust and Trauma Studies.” — The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

“The Trauma Controversy is a remarkable book in that it is not merely a collection of discrete and unrelated essays by significant individual players. Rather, the editors have taken care to cultivate a genuine conversation between various contributors in the volume.” — John J. Thatamanil, author of The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kristen Brown Golden is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Millsaps College and the author of Nietzsche and Embodiment: Discerning Bodies and Non-Dualism, also published by SUNY Press.

Bettina G. Bergo is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal. She is author of Levinas between Ethics and Politics: For the Beauty that Adorns the Earth and coeditor (with Jill Stauffer) of Nietzsche and Levinas: “After the Death of a Certain God.”

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction Kristen Brown Golden Bettina Bergo 1

Part 1 Trauma and Theoretical Frameworks: Psychoanalysis and Phenomenology

2 A Late Adventure of the Feelings: Loss, Trauma, and the Limits of Psychoanalysis Gregg M. Horowitz 23

3 Overcoming the Confusion of Loss and Trauma: The Need of Thinking Historically Sara Beardsworth 45

4 Trauma and Speech as Bodily Adaptation in Merleau-Ponty Kristen Brown Golden 71

Part 2 Trauma and Bodily Memory: Poetics and Neuroscience

5 Trauma and the Impossibility of Experience Idit Dobbs-Weinstein 99

6 Trauma's Presentation Charles E. Scott 115

Part 3 Trauma and Clinical Approaches

7 Crime and Memory Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. 127

8 An Elephant in the Room: The Impact of Traumatic Stress on Individuals and Groups Sandra L. Bloom, M.D. 143

Part 4 Trauma and Recent Cultural History

9 The Snake That Bites: The Albanian Experience of Collective Trauma as Reflected in an Evolving Landscape Michael L. Galaty Sharon R. Stocker Charles Watkinson 171

10 Traumatic Life: Violence, Pain, and Responsiveness in Heidegger Eric Sean Nelson 189

11 Trauma and Hysteria: A Tale of Passions and Reversal Bettina Bergo 205

Part 5 Afterword

12 Terror's Wake: Trauma and Its Subjects Michael Lambek 235

List of Contributors 263

Index 267

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