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.…

Allegiance, King of the Hill, and the Telephone Game

Autobiography within the frameworks of Berlant’s intimate publics becomes a telephone game.  “Normative” expectations become warped as informational integrity becomes attenuated.  One person says something, then another person has to say something “more real” (i.e. more extreme) as a way to maintain authority within a shifting political framework. This doesn’t always happen.  People like Ghandi,…

Memory Keeping and Ideological Resistance: Constructing Intimate Social Narratives

Berlant’s intimate publics and Perreault’s autography can both be seen as stages of memory keeping.  But memories carry historical and ideological weight – thus, “memory” is inherently rhetorical and political.  Memories of the past are incorporated into the cultural metanarrative of group identity, and these memories shift with time as the metanarrative “recall” adapts the…

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. ┬áBut the…

Literature and Media Aggregators are Hermeneutic Collection Systems

i get my news from Yahoo.  Mostly because that’s my e-mail login, but also because the story headlines (and the stories themselves) are interesting.  I feel better informed of global and national events because of all this “random” reading.  But these stories are curated by the editors at Yahoo, supplemented by the Associated Press, and…

Pathology: Normative Bifurcation

In medicine, pathology is the study of disease processes.  Pathologists identify cancer cells, and pathologists determine cause of death.  It’s a very important specialty.  But the pathological turn can also be misused to impose normative standards, leading to artificial bifurcations in the assessment of lived experience. This type of phenomenon would be like the extreme…