Study Day on ‘Trauma in focus : cultural and literary representations’

The Doctoral School in Letters, Arts and Humanities,
The Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Sfax,
Laboratory on Approaches to Discourse & Department of English
In collaboration with TAYR
jointly organize a Study Day on

‘Trauma in focus : cultural and literary representations’

Saturday 6th February 2016
At Ibn Khaldoun Conference Room

Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Sfax

The term trauma dates back to the 17 th century Greek word trôma, literally meaning wound. The term has evolved into a concept and has become increasingly significant with the exposure of personal and collective traumatic experiences in postmodern times. This has led to the creation of a well-established area of research, called Trauma Studies, which compounds both the clinical and the academic dimensions of trauma. With the evolution of trauma theory thanks to pioneer theorists such as Judith L. Herman, Cathy Caruth, Shoshana Felman, Dori Laub, Dominique LaCapra and Geoffrey Hartman, a number of literary works, wars, events and institutions have constituted a focal point of study from various academic angles. Therefore “no genre or discipline „owns‟ trauma as a problem or can provide for it” (LaCapra 2001, 96). Cathy Caruth contends that “the texts of psychoanalysis, of literature, and of literary theory speak about and speak through the profound story of traumatic experience” (1996, 4). She defines trauma as “not a single or systematizable concept but rather an ongoing set of clinical and conceptual discoveries” (2014, xiv). Whether personal or collective, trauma is imposed and leaves traces that are likely to remain forever. In fact, the cultural, literary and mediatized representations of traumatic experiences shape scholars‟ and pundits‟ reception and (re)discovery of trauma in various ways since “trauma is also always a breaching of disciplines” (Luckhurst 2001, 4).
The aim of this study day is to shed more light on this rising and compelling area of research by focusing on the following axes :
– Trauma in psychoanalysis and literature.
– Historicising trauma
– The discourse of the traumatized.
– Semiotic representations of Trauma.
– Ultra Violence, trauma and war crimes.
– Trauma and identity.
– Use/mis-use of trauma in politics.
– The ambivalence of trauma between rememberance and victimhood.
– Trauma in the media
– « Gendering » trauma.
– Dismembering the body : physical trauma in literature.
– Trauma and Ethnicity.
– Trauma and the return of the repressed.
– Recovery and/or resilience.
– Trauma and Post-colonialism
– Trauma and Testimony

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to before January, 7 th 2016.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the 10 th of January 2016.

The selected papers will be published in the indexed online journal TAYR QUARTERLY.