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.…

Affective Ownership vs Attachment?

Is there a difference between collection (per Van Den Eede), attachment, and ownership?  I’m thinking the trauma of loss versus the trauma of absence (Saunders?  Or LaCapra?) I also think of this in terms of the controversy surrounding Donald Trump.  Many people appear John to his campaign because they feel that their ownership of what…

The Sciences, Humanities, and Autobiography

There’s a huge tension between the sciences and the humanities as to what “counts” as knowledge, while the social sciences appear to draw from and contribute to both.  (yes, this is an extreme simplification – each individual discipline within the sciences, social sciences, and humanities will have its own connections and locations within the pantheon…

Historical Distinctions in Trauma

A concern I share with LaCapra and others is the ways in which trauma can be defined and redefined and “watered down” to the point that it no longer carries any real meaning: Moreover, there is an important sense in which the aftereffects…of traumatic events are not fully owned by anyone and…affect everyone.  But the…

Identification vs Historicism: Suspension of Disbelief, Promotion of Ideology

LaCapra describes the difference between “writing trauma” and “writing about trauma” (186).  He raises a question about the film Shoah, asking whether Polish resistance to the Hocaust was excluded because the speaker was too detached and not actively reliving his experiences (“writing about trauma”), or if instead the documentary can now be critiqued for failing…