19th Annual English and American Literature Association Confe"Trauma and Literature" (Abstracts by 1/30/11; Conference 11/12/11)

full name / name of organization: 
English Department, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
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Conference Organizers:
English and American Literature Association (EALA) of the Republic of China & Department of English, National Dong Hwa University
Conference Date: Saturday, November 12, 2011
Venue: National Dong Hwa University, Shou-Feng Hualien, Taiwan

Trauma studies as formulated by critics such as Cathy Caruth and Dominick LaCapara engage with the somatic, psychic and social shocks and haunting experiences caused by trauma and violence and represented in texts on and about trauma. Recent literary and cultural scholarship situates trauma studies at the intersection of ethnic/diaspora studies, globalization theory, feminist/queer studies, psychoanalytic theory and ecocriticism and enriches our approaches to the variegated traumatic spectacles. Trauma is not just a modern phenomenon, but is widely represented in pre-modern literature with the recurrent topics of wars, famine, disease, and natural disasters. Beowulf is an exemplary text setting up the inextricable links between the genesis of history and the traumatic encounter with monstrosity. The Middle Ages witness the devastation brought by the Black Death, thus initiating the tradition of plague wiring, a precursor to today's HIV/AIDS literature. Revenge, torture, violence, the wounded body are common materials in Shakespeare. In the 17th century, Robert Bourton's Anatomy of Melancholy betrays the interests in the psychological symptoms and affective traumas such as madness and melancholy. Writers of the Romantic, realist or modernist schools share a similar concern with and reaction against the shock of modernity, employing different aesthetic modes to deal with the traumatized modern subject.
In sum, in order to widen our engagement with the significance of trauma, we need to view trauma as not just a strictly psychoanalytic or clinical concept but as a wider framework saturated with cultural, historical, political, and aesthetic meanings. This conference invites papers reflecting upon the theories and issues of trauma within the field of English and American literature in order to explore different traumatic subjectivities and to open up the potential for new directions.

Possible subtopics include but are not limited to
1. Trauma and Ethnicity
2. Trauma and Gender
3. Trauma and Ecology
4. Trauma and Disease
5. Trauma and the Gothic
6. Trauma and History
7. Trauma and Violence
8. Trauma and Space
9. Trauma and Body
10. Trauma and (Post)memory
11. Trauma and the Politics of Affect
12. Trauma and the Politics of Representation
13. Trauma and the Holocaust
14. Writing Disasters
15. Other related themes

Interested scholars are invited to submit a 500-word abstract, keywords, as well as a brief CV to the following address: cwel@mail.ndhu.edu.tw.

Important Dates:
 Abstracts due: January 30, 2011
 Confirmation of acceptance: February 28, 2011
 Full papers due: October 24, 2011
 Conference date: November 12, 2011