Interrogating Trauma: Arts & Media Responses to Collective Suffering
Perth, Western Australia
2-4 December 2008
Since the late 1980s notions of trauma have become increasingly relevant to
scholars in the humanities interested in the social and cultural dimensions of human suffering caused by catastrophic events. Trauma studies emerged as a vast, dynamic and productive interdisciplinary field concerned with experiences and responses to such life-shattering events as incest, war, genocide, torture, and terror. But has trauma studies exhausted its own methodological possibilities? Or, is it the case that psycho-medico trauma theories in isolation may limit the understanding of processes that also involve socio-cultural structures and forces? The critical debate surrounding the ‘orthodoxies’ of trauma theory and its application and appropriation within the humanities now requires considered reflection. This is especially relevant to the fields of creative arts, cultural and media studies, which have frequently engaged with the literary, visual and performative representation of human suffering and resilience. Interrogating Trauma will provide a space for such a reflection.
Panel and Individual Paper proposals are invited with an abstract of no more than 250 words, plus a one-paragraph biography of the author/s. Selected conference papers will be peer-reviewed for publication in a special journal issue or scholarly press anthology. Scholarly, ficto-critical and literary writing will be considered. Accompanying the conference will be an Exhibition of creative works that engage with the themes of the conference (student works are welcome) with an Asia-Pacific trauma focus. Exhibition and performance proposals should contain a brief artist statement and description of the work, including its format and duration or size, of no more than 250 words, plus a one-paragraph biography of the artist.
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