Interrogating Trauma in the Humanities (CFP, Interdisciplinary International Conference, Lincoln, August 2012)

Interrogating Trauma in the Humanities
An International Interdisciplinary Conference, 20-23 August 2012
University of Lincoln, UK

Since 9/11 and the so called ‘terror attacks’, questions surrounding the nature of traumatic experience and how that experience may be presented/represented have dominated the Humanities.  This has led to a range of critical works which have attempted to evaluate the parameters of memory, testimony and the ethics of witnessing on both an individual and a collective level.  Trauma theories exist at the intersection of disciplines such as psychology, history, cultural and media studies and the dramatic arts. More recently this inter-disciplinarity has led to a growing area known as the ‘Medical Humanities’ in which literary and cultural theorists work alongside practitioners and clinicians involved in furthering insights into psychiatric conditions such as bi-polar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.  Trauma theory is therefore at the forefront of contemporary debates about human subjectivity and experience, but also locates such discourses within historical and political contexts and agendas.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Cathy Caruth (Unclaimed Experience:  Trauma, Narrative and History, Trauma:  Explorations in Memory, Traumatic Departures:  Survival and History in Freud)  and Kali Tal (Worlds of Hurt:  Reading the Literatures of Trauma, Women in Particular:  An Index to American Women).

Papers are invited which may include, but are not limited to

  • Literary representations of trauma
  • Trauma and aesthetics
  • The Medical Humanities
  • Violence and text
  • Mental Illness
  • Historical contexts of trauma
  • Dramatising pain
  • Performing trauma
  • Reporting disaster
  • Narrativising mental illness
  • Linguistic de-signification
  • Visualising trauma
  • Ethnic diasporas

Priority will be given to those papers which seek to transgress established parameters of academic debate and attempt to circumvent recognised subject divisions. Submissions of approximately 300 words are invited.  Please send abstracts together with a brief biographical note to the University Conference Office.  Deadline for the first call is 29 April2012 (23:59 GMT).

It is envisaged that selected papers will be published in a collected volume originating from this conference. For more information, please contact the Chair of the Organising Committee Catherine Redpath  (Senior Lecturer in English).

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