Writing Trauma Survival: Learning from violence and its after effects in literature

full name / name of organization: 
Kim Misfeldt / University of Alberta, Augustana
contact email: 

Session Title: Writing Trauma Survival: Learning from violence and its after effects in literature

Session Chairs: Kim Misfeldt kim.misfeldt@ualberta.ca and Cheryl Chaffin chaffinwriter@gmail.com

Rationale: This session will focus on what we can learn about trauma, resiliency and the operations of social violence in literary texts (broadly defined), written by authors who self-identify as women since 1960. There is considerable evidence, both in the cultural record and in terms of measurable social effects, to demonstrate that ideological, socio-cultural and systemic forms of violence work together to reinforce intersectional gender discipline. This session, therefore, invites scholars exploring the complex issues inherent in gender-based acts of violence and their aftermath to engage with models of human fragility and capacities for resiliency and repair, as presented through selected texts.

We are particularly interested in papers that address the following themes, though we welcome submissions on other related topics as well:

• The role of creativity in healing from violence
• Disruptive powers of violence and aggression
• Resolutions to violence
• Intersections of gender and violence
• Politics of violence, including poverty and gender
• Survival and coping strategies
• Complex consequences of violence for those targeted and for the social surround
• Effects of violence, i.e., addictions, eating disorders, loss
of self, dislocation
• Embodied acts of violence against the self: self-disgust,
• Considering the perpetrators / reading the monsters
• Why and how do those targeted by violence become perpetrators?
• Power relations

The types of violence can include, but are not limited to: childhood abuse, including sexual abuse; domestic violence; insidious forms of violence; socio-political violence; cultural genocide. Please submit a 250 – 300 word abstract outlining your proposal for the panel.

Proposals accepted until March 1, 2013