Poe Studies special feature: Violence, Pain, and Trauma (2/15/2010)

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Poe Studies: History, Theory, Interpretation

For the next issue of Poe Studies, Volume 43 (2010), we plan a special thematic feature: Violence, Pain, and Trauma. Poe's violence is often so stylized that critics tend not to take it seriously as violence. Instead, we recognize the satire in the abuse suffered by the narrator of "Loss of Breath" and the decapitation of Psyche Zenobia, and we contemplate the symbolic meaning of Rowena's torture in "Ligeia" and Madeline's premature burial in "The Fall of the House of Usher." But given the fact that violence is pervasive in Poe's tales and poems, should we not also consider what his work implies about the nature of physical cruelty, of suffering and anguish? How might recent research on trauma as well as its representation and literature inform a reconsideration of violence and pain in Poe? What might we find in Poe's work that illuminates these dark strains in broader historical and cultural contexts?

The editors welcome submissions and queries; please send to poestudies@wsu.edu by 15 February 2010.