Pub. Date:
Languages of Trauma: History, Memory, and Media

Languages of Trauma: History, Memory, and Media


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 30


This volume traces the distinct cultural languages in which individual and collective forms of trauma are expressed in diverse variations, including oral and written narratives, literature, comic strips, photography, theatre, and cinematic images. The central argument is that traumatic memories are frequently beyond the sphere of medical, legal, or state intervention. To address these different, often intertwined modes of language, the contributors provide a variety of disciplinary approaches to foster innovative debates and provoke new insights.

Prevailing definitions of trauma can best be understood according to the cultural and historical conditions within which they exist. Languages of Trauma explores what this means in practice by scrutinizing varied historical moments from the First World War onwards and particular cultural contexts from across Europe, the United States, Asia, and Africa — striving to help decolonize the traditional Western-centred history of trauma, dissolving it into multifaceted transnational histories of trauma cultures.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487508968
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 03/24/2021
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Peter Leese is an associate professor in the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Jason Crouthamel is a professor in the Department of History at Grand Valley State University.

Julia Barbara Köhne is FONTE visiting professor in the Faculty of Culture, Social Sciences and Education at Humboldt-University Berlin.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Languages of Trauma
Peter Leese, Julia Barbara Köhne, and Jason Crouthamel

Part One: Words and Images

1. “A perfect hell of a night which we can never forget”: Narratives of Trauma in the Private Writings of British and Irish Nurses in the First World War
Bridget E. Keown

2. Religious Language in German Soldiers' Narratives of Traumatic Violence, 1914—1918
Jason Crouthamel

3. Languages of the Wound: Finnish Soldiers' Bodies as Sites of Shock during World War II
Ville Kivimäki

4. Efim Segal Shell-shocked Sergeant: Red Army Veterans and the Expression and Representation of Trauma Memories
Robert Dale

5. The Falling Man: Resisting and Resistant Visual Media in Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers
Jennifer Anderson Bliss

Part Two: Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts

6. Performing Songs and Staging Theatre Performances: Working through the Trauma of the 1965 Indonesian Mass Killings
Dyah Pitaloka and Hans Pols

7. Encounters with Some Things Are Difficult to Say, Re-Membered
Katrina Bugaj

8. Performing Memory in an Interdependent Body
Emily Mendelsohn

9. Memory and Trauma: Two Contemporary Art Projects
Maj Hasager

Part Three: Normalizations of Trauma

10. Between Social Criticism and Epistemological Critique: Critical Theory and the Normalization of Trauma
Ulrich Koch

11. The New Normal: Trauma as Successfully Failed Communication in Nurse Betty
Thomas Elsaesser

12. The Exploitation of Trauma: (Mis-)Representations of Rape Victims in the War Film
Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż

Part Four: Representations in Film

13. Translating Individual and Collective Trauma through Horror: The Case of George A. Romero's Martin
Adam Lowenstein

14. Aesthetic Displays of Perpetrators in Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing: Post-Atrocity Perpetrator Symptoms, Re-enactments of Violence, and Perpetrator-Victim-Inversions
Julia Barbara Köhne

15. Perpetrator Trauma and Current American War Cinema
Raya Morag

Coda: Climate Trauma Reconsidered
E. Ann Kaplan

What People are Saying About This

Aris Mousoutzanis

"Languages of Trauma provides an introduction to a different strand of trauma theory, outlining critiques of earlier generations in the history of the discipline and analysing new avenues and approaches currently trending. With its scope, ambition, and interdisciplinarity, this book provides a major contribution to research."

Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen

"Languages of Trauma is a valuable addition to the growing field of trauma studies, most notably for its willingness to engage with topics in a contemporary timeframe, to put cultural representation alongside clinical understandings, to consider the perpetrator as well as the victim/survivor, and to go beyond the Anglo-American experience of the world wars."

Customer Reviews