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CFP: Speaking the Unspeakable: Representing Trauma

April 30

deadline for submissions: April 30, 2024
full name / name of organization:  Allie Wood Reichert / PAMLA
contact email: areic004@ucr.edu

The representation of traumatic experience is a fraught conversation in literary and media studies. Cathy Caruth famously argued for the “unspeakability” of trauma; other scholars such as Naomi Mandel argue that emphasizing the limits of language can inadvertently silence, restrict, and ignore the material and corporeal existence of suffering. This session invites panelists to consider representing and witnessing trauma as acts of translation across the border of un/representability. Although our central question originates in discussions of language and texts, panelists are also encouraged to consider trauma’s appearance across disciplines and forms, such as visual culture, media, and/or performance. Further questions may include: What is the role of the scholar in approaching and analyzing the traumatic experiences of others? How does the question of trauma’s reception intersect with questions about minoritized subjects’ hypervisibility and vulnerability? How is trauma “translated” in the classroom, by both teachers and students?