The 7th Cultural Intersections International Colloquium International: Trauma CFP deadline 5 January 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Kingston University/McMaster University

Can trauma be fully shared, or communicated? In all its characteristics and consequences it is a kind of fuzzy black hole that can only be shared and represented through metaphoric constructs. How can we feel trauma from the outside, how far can we communicate trauma we are suffering from? We tiptoe at the edge of trauma, unable to share our experience with others, incapable of fully comprehending others' wounds.

From 9/11 to the Iraq war, from the Darfur genocide to the Gaza blockade, trauma is all around us socially: interacting with our own load of wounds that affects our individuality, from the trauma of birth to old age, from rejection and separation from loved ones, illness or violence of urban life. Trauma is the one multiple human experience that signals most the intrinsic difficulty of fully sharing our own existence and empathising with that of others. And, at the same time, we continuously endeavour to communicate about trauma, to share, to empathise in any way we dare.

From this starting point, researchers engaged in the project 'Exploring the Edge of Trauma', that will culminate in a Conference planned for May 2010, will interrogate the intricate and wide-ranging ways through which we seek to go over the edge of trauma, through art, literature, media, therapeutic and social experience, which all call for the construction/deconstruction of metaphors and representations that help or prevent sharing and communicating about trauma. In an interdisciplinary and international context, it will delineate and discuss some of the rich cultural and social experience accumulated in this quest, and investigate the impossibility/possibilities to be fully cognate with and experience the trauma of others and communicate our own traumas.

During the conference, we will explore and discuss how, in specific areas (the zones referred to below), through representation, metaphoric constructs and interplay we all enter into dreading and exploring in turn the trauma of others and our own ones. Each zone is the subject of a specific session. Fresh and original critical explorations of these themes will take place.

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by 5 January 2010.