Legacies of Trauma: The Tragedy of Before and After

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies
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Legacies of Trauma: The Tragedy of Before and After

In the last couple of decades, life-writing has come to be seen as a singular site of reclaiming unclaimed experiences of trauma. Despite the apparent crisis of representation, a wide array of strategies and innovations are employed in life-writings towards the cause of conveying trauma. Life-writing in its various avatars dealing with trauma foreground the insight that trauma is not only a “drama of past event, but also, even primarily, a drama of survival” (Rubin). For the autobiographical subject, modalities of articulation and testimony present grounds for recovery of selfhood, leading to a possibility of re-engagement with the lifeworld. In putting together the fragments of memory, life-writing potentially counters trauma through the enactment of witnessing one’s own trauma in telling and its transmissibility to the reader, through whom the questions of secondary victimhood come to be seen as another determinant in the complex signification towards the experience of trauma. However, language miserably gives way to its own splintering before the overwhelming traumatic experience and fails to remain a witness thereof. Nevertheless, across different genres of expression, including digital and hybrid ones, dilatation of conventional idiom of expression with a view to register creatively what resists or slips away is crucial.

Subjects living as survivors of life-threatening events take to different means of expression. The complexity of textualizing trauma is such that the narrative oftentimes betrays a great deal about how the subject re-constitutes itself to come to terms with the experience, thereby underlining themes of truth telling and reconciliation in the face of trauma. However, one of the complex threads of survivor’s narrative is the interpellation of memory in the act of composing a narrative. It also brings to fore an aporia inherent in the very enterprise of representing trauma that is typically taken as unrepresentable. Delayed response to trauma, fragmented memory, complexity of experience, denial, and fear of persecution dislocate the subject from its history, culture, and context.

This call for paper stems out of the realization that there is much to be reckoned with in the experience and imprint of traumatic experiences in life, which seem to be hinged to the tenor of (our) times. Representations of trauma abound in photography, cinema, paintings, memoirs, testimonials, etc., giving a spectrum of positions to engage and tease interdisciplinary lines of inquiry.

Scholars are invited to explore the area by engaging and going beyond the following thematics:

  • Partition Literature/Literature of Crisis and Trauma
  • Restorative Function of Art
  • Tropes/Metaphors and Articulation of Trauma
  • Modernity and Trauma
  • Memory Studies and Trauma
  • Disability Studies and Trauma
  • Trauma in Pre-modern Life-writing
  • Life-writing and Childhood Trauma
  • Construction of the Childhood/Figure of Child in the Survivor’s Narrative
  • Intergenerational/Transgenerational Trauma
  • Historical Trauma and Methods of Recuperation
  • Testimonial Projects and Legal Framework
  • Limits of Representation in Autobiography
  • PTSD in Non-Western Narratives
  • Construction of Trauma and Politics of Trauma
  • Pathography and Limits of Autobiography
  • Trauma and Scriptotherapy
  • Trauma and Public Memory
  • Pandemic and Trauma
  • Exile and Trauma
  • Refugee Crisis and Trauma
  • Representation of Trauma through Photographs


Only complete papers will be considered for publication. The papers need to be submitted according to the guidelines of the MLA 8th edition. You are welcome to submit full length papers (3,500–10,000 words) along with a 150 words abstract and list of keywords. Please read the submission guidelines before making the submission – http://ellids.com/author-guidelines/submission-guidelines/. Please feel free to email any queries to – editors@ellids.com.

Please make all submissions via the form: https://forms.gle/CVW1oDyhqNnixGdYA

Submission deadline: 30th September, 2021

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