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Relational Reckonings: Narrative and Critical Approaches to Trauma

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Organizer: Kate McCullough

Co-Organizer: Daphne Lamothe

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Our world is rife with trauma: political trauma, cultural trauma, epidemiological trauma, environmental trauma, and personal trauma, to name but a few. What does narrative offer by way of addressing trauma in today? Why does trauma have such a grip on the imagination of both creative writers, scholars and theorists? How do contemporary authors approach the subject, and how do their approaches differ from those of earlier generations of writers? What is the value of critical approaches that view historicity and historical consciousness as precursors to meaningful change versus those that caution against the excesses or solipsism of a therapeutic culture?  What, in short, can contemporary critical approaches to the study of trauma tell us about the state of the field and the state of social world in the present? What are these trends telling us about how we understand the challenges we are facing, both individually and collectively across both cultures and disciplines.
This panel will explore these questions and others and invites papers from a variety of critical perspectives, from Afro-futurist to Queer Theory, to historical materialist to psychoanalytic, aesthetic and/or phenomenological approaches

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