A Remembrance of Things Smashed: Trauma, Narrative, and the American Civil War (NeMLA 2013 panel)

full name / name of organization: 
Daniel Irving / Stony Brook University
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With 2013 marking the 150th anniversary of several critical Civil War battles, most notably the Battles of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, this panel aims to explore narrative representations of trauma, whether cultural or individual, in literature of and about the American Civil War. Given that authors have dealt with the memory of trauma in different ways – some directly addressing the war and its psychological impact, others alluding to the traumatic aftermath of battle in stories not directly referencing the war itself – and considering the different literary traditions stemming from the war (literature from Northerners, Southerners, and the descendents of slaves), there are many questions worth asking. Among them, papers could address: How did the traumatic history of the Civil War influence authors writing in its shadow? What role has trauma played in shaping conceptions and legacies of the War, the Union, the Confederacy, and the lasting effects of slavery? Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words and a brief scholarly biography by September 30, 2012 to Daniel Irving, Stony Brook University (danieljirving1@gmail.com).