Alcoff and Gray-Rosendale: Survivor Discourse

Alcoff, Linda Martín and Laura Gray-Rosendale.  “Survivor Discourse: Transgression or Recuperation?”  Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography.  Ed. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1996.  198-225.  Print. Dangers of Confessional Testimony Alcoff and Gray-Rosedale are looking at the ways in which confessional testimonies are often appropriated by hegemonic forces in order…

Autoethnography – Ellis, Adams, and Bochner

Ellis, Carolyn, Tony E. Adams, and Arthur P. Bochner.  “Autoethnography: An Overview.”  FQS 12.1, Art. 10 (2011).     “A researcher uses tenets of autobiography and ethnography to do and write autoethnography.  Thus, as a method, autoethnography is both process and product” (Sec. 1 History). In the history section, Ellis, Adams, and Bochner provide a nice introduction to postmodernism and…

Haaken’s Review of Douglas’s Contesting Childhood

Janice Haaken’s review of Kate Douglas’s Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma, and Memory indicates that Douglas has interrogated the genre expectations of the childhood autobiography: “Douglas gathers up a rich web of autobiographical writing on childhood trauma to tell a larger cultural tale of the search for an authentic past” (853). “Douglas describes the demand on…

Trauma Scholars to Look Up

Susannah Radstone points out the following scholars I should look up: Carolyn Steedman and Empathy Theory (23). David Alexander points out that “trauma sites and trauma victims frequently become the objects of voyeuristic, or triumphalist fascination” (23). James Berger, writing about 9/11, indicates that “while some events get labelled traumatic, others, quite patently, do not”…

Ethical Imperative of Trauma Theory and Witnessing for Native American Autobiography

Radstone indicates that the ethical goals of trauma theory are not entirely unproblematic.  At a surface level, the goal of “cultural remembrance” for the “absent presence” is unchallenged: Though trauma analysis is in its early stages of development, its ethical imperatives do appear to have been accepted: trauma analysis positions itself by analogy with the…

Mimetic vs Anti-Mimetic Theories of Trauma

 Radstone writes that Something else gets lost, too, in trauma theory’s retreat from the significance of unconscious process of memory formation and revision.  And emphasis on the centrality of unconscious process to all aspects of psychical life has the effect of reminding readers and analysts of two important aspects of that life.  First, a fundamental…

Key Concepts in Trauma from LaCapra

Foundational Trauma: the sense tha traumatic events in the past may be adopted and internalized in such a way that “recovery” or “getting over it” is seen to “dishonor” the trauma, or as a betrayal to the victims.  Thus, the identification with that past experience of trauma becomes foundational in the personal or collective identity.…

PTSD as Neurological Injury

You can sprain your ankle.  Arterial plaques can construct The blood flow to your heart. But we don’t have sufficient understanding of the brain to describe exactly how emotional trauma leads to cognitive injury. In the past, I thought it possible that PTSD was perhaps and adaptive response to Trumatic environments. The symptoms of restlessness,…

Allegiance and Childhood Narratives

The reason why allegiance become so important in children is that the narrative of the family fundamentally determines how a child (and the parents, too, but certainly the parents) sees his or her own self fitting within the larger framework of adult society.  As Alice Miller writes in The Gifted Child, “I had completed two…

Allegiance to Social Identity

“Allegiance,” as I’m seeing it, is about a deeper affinity that mere alliance, and it’s a bit different from relationship.  Relationship would be that your life (or fate, or destiny) is tied to the life of another.  A child has a relationship with parents, a CEO has a relationship with the corporation.  But relationship does…