Echoes of Trauma: Exploring the Intersections of Trauma & Culture, March 3-4, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
21st Annual Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State University

Keynote Address by Dr. Shoshana Felman, Emory University

It has become apparent with the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and the approaching tenth anniversary of 9/11, that major traumatic events continue to resonate in both the individual and social consciousness — perhaps more in the 21st century than ever before. Remembering, rethinking, reworking, and reimagining are just a few of the ways in which authors and artists, historians and critics, audiences and citizens have explored their own traumatic experiences, as well as the traumatic events that continue to impact larger communities. Stemming from its basis in psychoanalysis, trauma studies and trauma theory have opened up unique pathways in literature, as well as other media, by exploring the stress and shock associated with wounds, be they physical, psychological, emotional, or cultural. For literary critics such as Cathy Caruth, literature negotiates "the complex relation between knowing and not knowing," which collide necessarily in traumatic events. The 21st Annual Mardi Gras Conference seeks to explore this complicated negotiation between "knowing and not knowing" as it manifests in various cultural forms. Panels will explore trauma in myriad ways, including but not limited to:

Public and Personal Trauma - War and war crimes; terrorism; national identity; hate crimes; disease and public health, including contagion scares; murder; offender/victim relations; domestic violence; child abuse; bereavement; survivor guilt.

Theorizing and Representing Trauma: Psychoanalysis; adaptation; Marxism; postcolonialism; Otherness; audience reception; cognitive studies; aesthetics; stage and screen; performance; visual art; journalism; genres; rhetoric and composition.

We encourage papers from a variety of disciplines. Proposals for individual papers as well as panel proposals organized by topic will be considered. Please submit an abstract of 250 words as an attachment along with contact information, including name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email, and phone number, by December 5, 2010 to

Further information and updates can be found at