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Configuring Trauma and Ideology in Representation

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Organizer: Min Yang

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Despite considerable research devoted to expanding our understanding of trauma beyond the unspeakable, which was conceptualized by trauma theorists in the mid-1990s, the nexus between trauma and ideology has not received adequate attention. Trauma and ideology, including religious ideology, have been closely intertwined in the appalling history of trauma in the 20thcentury. From traumatic catastrophes such as the Holocaust, Hiroshima, and the Vietnam War, which trauma studies conventionally have explored, to newly emerging research on political upheavals, wars, and genocides in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, ideology consistently influenced these man-made catastrophes. This seminar seeks to open a cross-cultural communication to reconsider trauma in terms of underrepresented cultures, societies, and political backgrounds in which trauma was created, triggered, and registered. We question the role of ideology in its broad connotation in situations of extreme stress through studying trauma in representations such as in literature, film, and visual arts from diverse languages and cultural backgrounds. Topics include but are not limited to the following: The ambiguity of perpetration and victimization including child soldiers in warfare and Red Guards in the Chinese Cultural Revolution; Confrontation and denial of perpetrators and victims such as for the Indonesian mass killings (1965–66), The Rape of Nanking (1937-1938) and genocides of the Khmer Rouge Regime of Cambodia (1975-1979); Chronicity and trauma in famine genocides such as the Holodomor in Ukraine (1932-1933), the Soviet famine (1946–47), and the Chinese Great Leap Forward (1958-1962); Trauma related to the rise and fall of socialist ideology in Eastern European countries; and Religious ideology in cataclysms such as the Jammu massacre during the Indian Partition in 1947, the Anfal Campaign in Kurdistan (1987-1988), and the Serbian "EtnickoCiscenje" of Bosnian Muslims (1992-1995).

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