In recent years, the meaning of the word "trauma" has changed
dramatically from a limited clinical term towards a rather broad
metaphor used all over the world to illustrate human suffering.
Trauma projects, trauma institutions, and trauma research have
become mainstream elements of interventions in crisis regions,
developmental policies and in general clinical research and practice.
Speaking of individual and collective trauma has become part of a
language common to sociologists, historians, educators, and
economists. Although all this implies a certain recognition of the
relevance of human suffering in the context of disasters and destruction, it also implies the risk that a relevant concept may be opened up to confusion and incorrect use and may even be stripped of all meaning.
The aim of the trauma network's conference, which will be held in
Wiesbaden from June 28 to 30, 2002, is therefore to discuss this issue
and related questions with researchers and practitioners from all
around the world, as a consciously interdisciplinary and intercultural
We have organized the conference in six plenary sessions and six working groups; the latter will discuss specific issues and continue throughout the conference. All plenary sessions will present two co-speakers in order to ensure an interdisciplinary and transcultural discussion.
The working groups will pursue the following six issues:
Transgenerational transmission of trauma
Traumatic history: speaking the void in literature
Cultural context and the difficulty of conceptualizing trauma
The insecure (legal) status of refugees and the vicissitudes of
Victimhood and empowerment
From genocide to terrorism: the outcome of collective grandiose
Although these topics present a wide area of our different theoretical and practical concerns, all of them will pursue the overall questions and issues of the conference in reference to their specific topic.
Please note that the tentative agenda is subject to alteration.
Cornelia Berens and David Becker
on behalf of the conference steering committee: David Becker, Cornelia
Berens, Mihran Dabag, Ilany Kogan, Dori Laub, Eric Markusen, Kristin
Platt, Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Sibylle Rothkegel, Christian Schneider
Bernhard Giesen, The Trauma of Perpetrators. The Holocaust
as the traumatic reference of German national identity
Chair: David Becker
15:15 - 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 - 16:45 Plenary session 2
Trauma, Memory and History
Joern Ruesen, Crisis, Trauma and Identity
Allan Young, An Alternative History of Posttraumatic Stress
Chair: Dori Laub
16:45 - 17:15 Coffee break
17:15 - 19:15 Working group session / running parallel
1.Transgenerational transmission of trauma
Chair: Ilany Kogan
Ira Brenner, Trauma, Transmission and Time
Marion Oliner, The Nazi Hunter
Annette Streeck-Fischer, What is Transmission of Trauma?
Uri Yaron, A Space for Children´s Need to Mourn,
a multidimentional psychotherapic group
2. Traumatic history: speaking the void in literature
Chair: Cornelia Berens
Birgit R. Erdle, The Rhetoric of the Void and its Ambiguities
Geoffrey Hartman, Trauma Within the Limits of Literature
Sven Kramer, Talking Around Trauma: On the Relationship
between Trauma, Narration, and Catharsis in Literature
Anja Lemke, How to Speak? Non-semantic Representation
of the Shoah in the Writings of Paul Celan
3. Cultural context and the Difficulty of Conceptualizing Trauma
Chair: Sibylle Rothkegel
Hubertus Adam, Trauma and Reconciliation - Implications for
Yherapy and Politics With Children Afflicted by War and Persecution
Victor Igreja, "Why Are There Many Drums Playing Until the Dawn?"
Exploring the Role of Local Resources on War Trauma Recovery:
The Gambas, a New Type of Healer in Postwar Gorongosa,
Johan Lansen, Fifty Years of Working With Trauma Within Cultural
Aspects: Some Experiences
4. The Insecure (Legal) Status of Refugees and the Vicissitudes of Therapeutical Help
Chair: Marie-Luise Roessel-Cunovic
Angelika Birck, Social and Legal Influences on Psychotherapy
with Traumatized Refugees
Usche Merk, Between Psychosocial Support and the Need for
Creating Existential Security: Adding an International Perspective
Klaus Ottomeyer, Psychotherapy With Traumatized Refugees
Martine Verwey, Bicultural Health Promotion Groups With Traumatized
Remarks: Elise Bittenbinder, Anni Kammerlander
5. Victimhood and empowerment
Chair: Margarete Schauer and Thomas Elbert
Wendy Lobwein, The Impact of Testifying Before the ICTY
Frank Neuner, The Efficacy of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
as a Treatment for PTSD for Survivors of Organized Violence
Michael Odenwald, Way of Coping with Trauma Leads to Further
Victimization and Disempowerment: Combat Trauma and Substance
Abuse in Members of a Former Liberation Movement
Susanne Schwalgin, "Adoring a Relic of Bones” - Trauma, Memory
and Identity in the Armenian Diaspora in Greece
6. From Genocide to Terrorism: The Outcome of Collective
Chair: Dori Laub
Angela Kuehner, The Notion of "Collective Tauma"
Catherine Merridale, Soviet Perpetrators of Violence in WWII
Judit Mészáros, Some Thoughts on Collective Traumatization and
Silence in the Context of Relational Approaches. Collective Trauma
tization - Differences and Similarities
Jacques Sémelin, Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia
14:30 - 19:00 Working Group Session 2
Continuation of working groups from the preceding afternoon
(including coffee break)
19:15 - 20:00 Dinner
Evening free for informal gathering
Sunday, June 30, 2002
08:00 - 8:45 Breakfast
09:00 - 10:30 Plenary Session 5
Résumés from the working group chairs (or members)
Chair: David Becker
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:15 Plenary Session 6
The Silence of Trauma and its Impact Through the Generations
- an Encounter With Terrorism
Ilany Kogan, The Silence of Trauma ... (1)
Dori Laub, The Silence of Trauma ... (2)
Chair: Cornelia Berens
12:15 - 14:00 Lunch and end of the International Trauma Research
[All those interested are welcome to watch the World Cup Final on Sunday at 1:00 pm on a large screen in the auditorium of the Wilhem-Kempf-Haus.]
Dr. med. Hubertus Adam, department for child and adolescent psychiatry
and psychotherapy, outpatient clinic for refugee children and their
families, University Clinic of Hamburg Eppendorf.
Dr. David Becker, psychologist, International Academy for Innovative
Education, Psychology and Economy at the Free University of Berlin (INA gGmbH), Berlin. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Cornelia Berens, M.A., literary historian and editor of the TRN-Newsletter, Hamburg. Head of the steering committee for this conference.
Dr. phil. Angelika Birck, Mag., psychologist, staff member of Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims (BZFO). Finished in 2001 a doctoral thesis on the process of working through experiences with sexual violence in childhood. Her main areas of work are research accompanying psychotherapy; political and social conditions for political refugees in Germany.
Elise Bittenbinder, staff member of Xenion Berlin, Psychotherapeutic Advice Centre for Refugees. Bittenbinder is president of the German "Bundesweite Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Psychosozialen Zentren fuer Fluechtlinge und Folteropfer (BAFF)".
Ira Brenner, MD, is executive director and a training and supervising
analyst at the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a clinical
associate professor of psychiatry at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He has written extensively on the subject of psychic trauma.
Dr. phil. Mihran Dabag*, director of the Institute for Research on Diaspora and Genocide at the Ruhr-University, Bochum. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Elbert, professor for clinical psychology, behavioral
neuroscience and biomagnetism at the University of Konstanz,
founding member of VIVO international.
Dr. phil. Birgit R. Erdle, research assistant at "Institut fuer Deutsche Philologie, Allgemeine Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft", Technical University Berlin. Working on her "Habilitationsschrift" on "Trauma. Geschichte einer Gedaechtnisfigur in Literatur und Philosophie".
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Giesen, Department of Sociology at the University of Constance. Research on collective identity, nation-building, memory and cultural trauma. In this context the research is focusing on the historical change of remembrance rituals with regard to the conflicts between triumph and trauma.
Brandon Hamber, research associate and consultant, Belfast. Worked as a clinical psychologist in South Africa, now with various organisations in Northern Ireland. Honorary fellow at the School of Psychology at Queens University in Belfast.
Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Yale University. Prof. Hartman also co-founded the Fortunoff Video Archives of Holocaust Testimonies and has written extensively on literary and moral questions related to the Holocaust.
Dr. Victor Igreja, psychologist, pedagogue, medical anthropologist and
trauma researcher at a Mozambican NGO, Associaçăo Esperança para
Todos (AEPATO). AEPATO operates in the former war zones of Mozambique
central developing a community-based project on "war memories and
individual and community recovery strategies."
PD Dr. Peter Imbusch, sociologist at Marburg University, currently
associated with Bielefeld University as a founding member of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, in collaboration with Wilhelm Heitmeyer.
Anni Kammerlander, managing director of Refugio Muenchen, which provides treatment for victims of torture and traumatized refugees.
Ilany Kogan, MA, training analyst of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, supervisor of the Center for Psychotherapy for Child and Adolescent, Bucharest, Romania. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Dr. phil. habil. Sven Kramer, literary historian, reader at the Fachbereich Kulturwissenschaften at Lueneburg University. From August 2002 visiting associate professor at the German and History Department of the University of Toronto.
Angela Kuehner, Dipl.-Psych., PhD student at the department of social
psychology, University of Munich. She is currently writing a report, funded by the "Berghof Center for Constructive Conflict Management" (Berlin), which aims at a better understanding of the impact of "collective trauma"/"man-made disaster" on peacemaking and peacebuilding processes.
Dr. Johan Lansen, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and group psychotherapist, former director of the Sinai Centrum (Europees Centrum voor joodse geestelijke gezondheidscentrum en psychotraumatische-behandeling), Amersfoort, Netherlands. Member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, clinical supervisor.
Dori Laub, MD is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale
University and a psychoanalyst in private practice. Laub is currently acting director for Trauma Studies at the Genocide Studies Program at Yale, where he founded the Fortunoff Video Archives of Holocaust Testimonies in 1981. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Dr. phil. Anja Lemke, studied German and Spanish literature, philosophy, and political science in Freiburg, Madrid and Hamburg. Dissertation in 2001 about Heidegger and Celan. After three years at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Lemke is currently working in the Institute for Cultural Studies in Essen.
Wendy Lobwein, an Australian social worker and counsellor/advocate,
founding member of the "Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture". Lobwein joined the Victim and Witness Section (VWS) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Hague, in 1995 as the Sections first Support Officer.
Prof. Eric Markusen, PhD, professor of sociology and social work at the University of Minnesota, research director of the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Copenhague, Denmark. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Usche Merk, Dipl.-Paed. (Masters in Education), and post-grad degree in "Education and International Development", since 1989 project coordinator on Southern Africa at medico international, Frankfurt, Germany. Since 1995 head of psychosocial programmes at medico international, integrating practical project support with conceptional debates about the development of contextual psychosocial approaches.
Catherine Merridale, reader in European history at Bristol University. She specializes in modern Russian cultural and social history. Her publication on the topic: "Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia" (2000).
Judit Mészáros, PhD, was born in Budapest, Hungary. Training analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society. Clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, group psychoanalyst. Founding member (1988) and President of the Sándor Ferenczi Society (1999-). Member of the Trauma Group of European Psychoanalytical Federation.
Frank Neuner, Dipl.-Psych., managing director of vivo Germany, currently research associate and psychotherapist at the Center for Psychiatry Reichenau, has done extensive work with torture survivors and African and Balkan refugees.
Michael Odenwald, Dipl.-Psych., neuropsychologist, affiliated with the
University of Konstanz and VIVO associate, is currently managing a field mission in Somaliland, after many years of clinical experiences and research studies in PTSD with excombatants.
Marion Michel Oliner, PhD, psychologist, New York City. Oliner is one of the authors of the renowned book "Generations of the Holocaust" (1982).
Prof. Klaus Ottomeyer, professor of social psychology at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Work as a psychotherapist employing psychodrama. Current research interests: right-wing extremism, psychodrama and refugees.
Kristin Platt*, Dipl.-Soz., principle investigator at the Institute for Research on Diaspora and Genocide at Ruhr-University Bochum. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Prof. Dr. Jan Philipp Reemtsma*, professor in German literature, University of Hamburg. Founder and executive director of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Marie-Luise Roessel-Cunovic, Dipl.-Paed., family therapist. She co-founded Frankfurter Arbeitskreis fuer Trauma und Exil (FATRA) in 1993 and, since 1996, heads FATRA s project offering counseling and treatment for traumatized refugees.
Sibylle Rothkegel, Dipl.-Psych., Gestalt therapist. Former assistant
director of the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims (BZFO), since February 2002 working with traumatized war survivors in Sierra Leone ("Dienste in Uebersee/Service Overseas"). Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Prof. Dr. Joern Ruesen, historian, president of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the Scientific Center of Northrhine Westfalia, Essen. Published on Holocaustmemory and about "Crisis, Trauma, Identity".
Dr. Margarete Schauer, Director Scientific Committee VIVO international; University of Konstanz (Psychotraumatology & Clinical Psychology) and NIMH CSEA, University of Florida, USA
PD Dr. Christian Schneider*, sociologist and research analyst, until 2001 staff member of the Frankfurt Sigmund Freud Institute. Major research: transgenerational transmission of unconscious dispositions in the wake of the collapse of civilization, psychoanalytic history of generations. Member of the steering committee for this conference.
Susanne Schwalgin, ethnologist, Hamburg. Currently finishing her PhD study on the remembrance of the Armenian Genocide and its relevance for identity politics.
Jacques Sémelin, political scientist, research director CADIS/CNRS.
He is currently teaching a transdisciplinary course on "Analyzing Genocides and Mass Killing" at the "Institut d'Etudes Politiques" in Paris.
Dr. med. Annette Streeck-Fischer, director of the department for clinical psychotherapy of children and adolescents in Tiefenbrunn Hospital, Rosdorf near Goettingen.
Martine Verwey, lic. phil. I, medical anthropologist, scientific staff member of Stiftung vom Roten Kreuz Zurich-Fluntern, Switzerland. Editor of "Trauma and Empowerment", co-editor of "Traumatizations of Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Relevance of the Political, Social and Medical Context".
Dr. Uri Yaron, clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, Tel-Aviv. Dr. Yaron is senior clinical psychologist and supervisor of the psychological clinic within in the department of the dean of students, Tel-Aviv-University; secretary of the New Israeli Jungian Society, in charge of the program for psychotherapy in Jungian orientation in Seminar-Hakibutzim College, Tel-Aviv.
Allan Young, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, McGill University, Montreal. Currently fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute for Advanced Study, researching "Traumatic memory as a style of reasoning in psychiatry and western culture".
(*the steering committee members unable to attend)
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)