Convener: Associate Professor S Field
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for a Master’s programme
This course traces the genealogy of the concept and theories of “trauma”. It will critique the clinical, popular, intellectual and political uses of the term from the late 19th century to the present. The course challenges students to be self-reflexive, critical thinkers, with the capacity to debate the “Trauma Question” and its implications for the emergence of memory studies, especially in post-conflict societies. We will also discuss the use of “trauma theories” in relation to debates around reconciliation, healing and reparations; and post-colonial critiques of trauma theories as Eurocentric and lacking in their account of race and cultural differences. Moreover, the “transmission of trauma” in family histories and the notion post-memory will be discussed. Finally, we discuss the “affect turn” and the historicizing of emotions and subjectivities as a move to resolve the conceptual problems posed by trauma theories. The course is open to MA and PhD students from across the Faculty, especially those who have a dedicated interest in the histories, memories and theories of violence and its legacies.