This project brings together team members from the University, community, and research institutions abroad to better understand the impacts of traumatic memory upon individuals and societies and to critically engage the issues of how we come to terms with and heal from trauma, seek accountability for human rights abuses that led to severe trauma, and mitigate future traumatization. We seek to explore the long-term effects of traumatic experiences as varied as war and dictatorship, terrorist attacks and state terrorism, genocide, captivity, and sexual abuse. We also seek to confront the complexities of testimonial narratives and of memory itself. Without memory, no testimony is possible, the right to truth may be denied, and the justice unobtainable
We believe that a full understanding of trauma and its implications in modern society must address both its individual and social dimensions, and place 1) therapeutic and artistic work, 2) critical cultural analysis and scientific modelling/experimentation, and 3) sociological as well as historical study and medical practice in dialogue. The workshop explores how a more interdisciplinary understanding of memory and trauma can illuminate the pathways between artistic/literary production and healing.
The humanities deepen and expand the ways to approach the interstices that inhabit the narratives of traumatic events, the ontology of the post-traumatic subject, and the rethinking of the witnessing of trauma. The humanities, called to explore and explain the human condition, must face the challenge of understanding and treating trauma as one of the foremost experiences in which that very condition is most radically called into question.