Book Chapters: Moving in with Trauma

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Michelle Zheng/ Vernon Press
contact email: 

Vernon Press invites chapter proposals for the collected work, Moving in with Trauma, edited by Michelle Zheng. This edited volume aims to broach the topic of living with Trauma to ask the question - We have always lived with Trauma, but how do we embrace Trauma into our lives? What does it mean to foster an understanding, or what place does it have in the world we live in?

In recent years, critical considerations of aesthetics or beauty have been de-emphasised in literary criticism. There is a certain taboo about the notion of beauty, as Elaine Scarry has neatly pointed out: “many people have either actively advocated a taboo on beauty or passively omitted it from their vocabulary, even when thinking and writing about beautiful objects such as painting and poems” (117). There have been many talks about how aesthetics demeans a work’s values—serving as bourgeois distractions from the real social issues we face.

However, while that rightfully remains an important critical consideration, the representation of Trauma (individual and/or cultural) calls for issues regarding aestheticising Trauma and its influences on the public discourse. When disassociation and complete freedom from a world of inevitable violence and suffering is unattainable, it highlights the impossibility of innocence when it comes to aesthetics. The very notion of creating and writing calls for an essential collaboration of aesthetic practices engaging with Trauma. How do individuals and communities then contextualise Trauma in a contemporary worldview? How do we move in with Trauma in consideration of the value of beauty in trauma narratives?

We welcome proposals from disciplines that include, but not limited to, literary studies, cultural studies, film studies, psychology, psychoanalysis, history, and philosophy. We seek book chapters that range from approximately 5000-6000 words in length to include in this edited collection.

Topics include, but not limited to the following:

  • Representations of Trauma in literature that consider how aesthetics frame Trauma narratives

  • How writers use different forms of beauty to represent Trauma

  • The limitations in narration and measure of trauma events

  • To what extent can the intersection between beauty and Trauma give room for better representations of marginalised individuals/ communities moving forward?

Please submit an abstract no longer than 500 words, project title, and a brief bio (max. 300 words) to Michelle Zheng (, the volume editor, by 1 February 2024.