Mimetic vs Antimimetic Theories of Trauma

Ruth Leys describes the how the mimetic paradigms of trauma that arose from the hypnosis tradition of Freud and others reveal the internal dissociation of the traumatized subject.  Survivors were found to repeat the external cues from researchers, and it was hypothesized that the severity of trauma led to a kind of forced forgetting, that the mind was unable to cognitively access the memory of past events.  Thus, the only way to access the past would be to provide cues to that past – which would in turn lead to the risk of contaminating the memory (Leys ___), such as we’ve seen with false or “implanted” memories (search Google).  We could, I think, refer to this as “inception,” perhaps, drawing from Hollywood.

Leys writes that the antimimetic approach has gained greater attention in scientific and positivist circles.  She appears critical of this, however, stating that even the most antimimetic theories return to mimesis (___).  She describes the “conundrums of imitation-suggestion” (___) that affect all trauma theories, casting doubt on the “veracity” of trauma claims.

This is clearly related to the crisis in testimony.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>