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Author: Danielle Schaub

Abstract

Alan Cumyn’s Man of Bone offers a powerful example of the traumatic impact that captivity and torture can afford on a human being. The novel narrates the nine-month-long period during which Bill Burridge, a Canadian diplomat, endures captivity and torture after a guerrilla faction kidnaps him on the imaginary South Pacific Island of Santa Irene. Hooded for most of the narration until his release, Burridge gives way to a wide range of responses, his narrative evoking the terror of uncertainty and life threat in its disjunctive presentation, hallucination, dream realm and stylistic fragmentation. Language narrows in on small details recorded in elliptical sentences, whose choppy structures convey suffocation and awe; to keep such devastating feelings at bay and distract his mind, the protagonist turns to repetitive patterns and flashbacks. Even when freed, Burridge persists with his fixation on details, dissociative flashbacks and exploitation of water imagery to convey the sense of distressed immersion, making it hard for the readers to determine the boundary between the real and the imaginary. His narrative keeps echoing his inability to disentangle himself from the obsessive thoughts that drive him outside himself and cause him to relive the experience in confused divided consciousness. The discussion of trauma from captivity and torture will call on psychoanalytical theories of Michael Balint, Wilfred R. Bion, Frances Tustin and Judith Mitrani.

In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
In: What Happened? Re-presenting Traumas, Uncovering Recoveries
Trauma and Meaning Making highlights multiple practices of meaning making after traumatic events in the lives of individuals and communities. Meaning making consists both in a personal journey towards a new way to exist and live in a world shattered by trauma and in public politics locating and defining what has happened. In both perspectives, the collection evaluates the impact achieved by naming the victim/s and thus the right of the victim/s to suffer from its aftermath or by refusing to recognise the traumatic event and thus the right of the victim/s to respond to it. A range of paradigms and techniques invite readers to consider anew the specificities of context and relationship while negotiating post-traumatic survival. By delineating how one makes sense of traumatic events, this volume will enable readers to draw links between practices grounded in diverse disciplines encompassing creative arts, textual analysis, public and collective communication, psychology and psychotherapy, memory and memorial.
Traumatic experiences with an overwhelming life-threatening feel affect numerous people’s lives. Death and disablement through accident, illness, war, family violence, natural and human-induced disaster can be experienced variously at an individual level through to whole communities and nations. Traumatic memories are intrusive and insistent but fragmented and distorted by the power of sensory information frozen in time. This volume examines the ways individuals, families, communities and nations have engaged with representations of traumas and the ethical dimensions embedded in those re-presentations. Contributors also explore the work of recovering from trauma and finding resilience through working with narrative and embodied forms such as dance and breathing. The ubiquity of trauma in human experience means that pathways to recovery differ, emerging from the way each engages with the world. Sharing, and reflecting on, the ways each copes with trauma contributes to its understanding as well as pathways to recovery and new strengths. Contributors are Svetlana Antropova, Peter Bray, Kate Burton, Mark Callaghan, Marie France Forcier, Monica Hinton, Gen’ichiro Itakura, Danielle Schaub, Zeina Tarraf and Paul Vivian.
In: What Happened? Re-presenting Traumas, Uncovering Recoveries
In: What Happened? Re-presenting Traumas, Uncovering Recoveries
This volume addresses trauma not only from a theoretical, descriptive and therapeutic perspective, but also through the survivor as narrator, meaning maker, and presenter. By conceptualising different outlooks on trauma, exploring transfigurations in writing and art, and engaging trauma through scriptotherapy, dharma art, autoethnography, photovoice and choreography, the interdisciplinary dialogue highlights the need for rethinking and re-examining trauma, as classical treatments geared towards healing do not recognise the potential for transfiguration inherent in the trauma itself. The investigation of the fissures, disruptions and shifts after punctual traumatic events or prolonged exposure to verbal and physical abuse, illness, war, captivity, incarceration, and chemical exposure, amongst others, leads to a new understanding of the transformed self and empowering post-traumatic developments.

Contributors are Peter Bray, Francesca Brencio, Mark Callaghan, M. Candace Christensen, Diedra L. Clay, Leanne Dodd, Marie France Forcier, Gen’ichiro Itakura, Jacqueline Linder, Elwin Susan John, Kori D. Novak, Cassie Pedersen, Danielle Schaub, Nicholas Quin Serenati, Aslı Tekinay, Tony M. Vinci and Claudio Zanini.
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations