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…

Life Writing Authorizes Trauma

Maurice Stevens points out how trauma has long fallen on gendered and racial lines.  The litigious nature of traumatic experience constrains the resulting “in group.”  In the past, railroad companies would employ lawyers in the effort to avoid blame by reducing the number of individuals who could be considered injured (CITATION Stevens) – likewise, Euro-Americans have…

Trauma, Memory, Standpoint

With this project, when I’m trying to do is understand the relationship between trauma and writing and learning. This can be complicated by neurological considerations, but we have a little understanding of the complex factors that allow some individuals to overcome trauma while others remain crippled by it. The problem for my research then is…

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…

Hiroshima podcast on Public Radio

pri.org/hiroshima- a podcast addressing the trauma of the atomic bomb.  Also addresses the mental health considerations.  (And don’t forget the severely constrained Smithsonian exhibit.)  I’m especially interested in the concept of the memory keepers – those who were not there for the bombing, but who carry forward the memory of family members who were.  But there…

Threshold: What “counts” as trauma?

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t categorize his own upbringing as “abusive.”  Many Euro-Americans don’t see the treatment of Native Americans as genocide. How do we decide what “counts” as trauma?  Who decides this?  Does surviving one trauma grant one the authority to gauge the traumas of others?

Can Autography Overcome the Cycle of Trauma?

In the PBS documentary on Auschwitz, they juxtaposed the interviews of an SS guard and a partisan to show how neither side (decades after the war) felt regret about having killed. The SS guard said he thought he was protecting Germany from the Jews, and the partisan was fighting the Germans. Clearly, the partisan (I…

Trauma and Standpoint Tied via Social Control

After reading the Wikipedia articles on psychological abuse and verbal abuse, it appears that emotions are regularly abused as a form of social control, but that the cultural definitions of abuse often fail to account for these easily concealed forms of manipulation. Some highlights include gaslighting (pretending “nothing happened”) and the silent treatment, basically sending the…

Cultural Relativism in Trauma

Trauma is a highly individual concept. Whatever your life story, you have certain conceptions about what “counts” as “awful enough” to merit sympathy or pity as opposed to disdain. One goal reform pedagogy or “progressive” traditions would be to expose students to a wider scope of human experience, to help them better relate to experiences outside…