The Future of Trauma Theory
Contemporary Literary and Cultural Criticism
Edited by Gert Buelens, Samuel Durrant, Robert Eaglestone
Routledge – 2014 – 182 pages
This collection analyses the future of ‘trauma theory’, a major theoretical discourse in contemporary criticism and theory. The chapters advance the current state of the field by exploring new areas, asking new questions and making new connections.
Part one, History and Culture, begins by developing trauma theory in its more familiar post-deconstructive mode and explores how these insights might still be productive. It goes on, via a critique of existing positions, to relocate trauma theory in a postcolonial and globalized world, theoretically, aesthetically and materially, and focuses on non-Western accounts and understandings of trauma, memory and suffering. Part two, Politics and Subjectivity, turns explicitly to politics and subjectivity, focussing on the state and the various forms of subjection to which it gives rise, and on human rights, biopolitics and community.
Each chapter, in different ways, advocates a movement beyond the sort of texts and concepts that are the usual focus for trauma criticism and moves this dynamic network of ideas forward.
With contributions from an international selection of leading critics and thinkers from the US and Europe, this volume will be a key critical intervention in one of the most important areas in contemporary literary criticism and theory.
Preface: Beyond Tancred and Clorinda: Trauma Studies for Implicated Subjects, Michael Rothberg Introduction Part 1: History and Culture Chapter 1: Knowledge, ‘Afterwardsness’ and the future of Trauma theory, Robert Eaglestone Chapter 2: Fascism and the Sacred: Sites of Inquiry after (or along with) Trauma, Dominick LaCapra Chapter 3: Beyond Eurocentrism: Trauma Theory in the Global Age, Stef Craps Chapter 4: Affect, Body, Place: Trauma Theory in the World, Ananya Jahanara Kabir Chapter 5: Trauma Ties: Chiasmus and Community in Lebanese Civil War Literature, Nouri Gana Part 2: Politics and Subjectivity Chapter 7: That which you are denying us’: Refugees, Rights and Writing in Arendt, Lyndsey Stonebridge Chapter 8: Time, personhood, politics, Jenny Edkins Chapter 9: The Biopolitics of Trauma, Pieter Vermeulen Chapter 10: Future Shock: Science Fiction and the Trauma Paradigm, Roger Luckhurst
Gert Buelens is Professor of English at Ghent University, and Director of LITRA, the Centre for Literature and Trauma there.
Sam Durrant is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature at the University of Leeds.
Robert Eaglestone is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Director of the Holocaust Research Centre there.