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Listening to Trauma

Paperback
, 392 pages

19 halftones

ISBN:
9781421414454
October 2014
$24.95

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Listening to Trauma

Conversations with Leaders in the Theory and Treatment of Catastrophic Experience

TABLE OF CONTENTS

This new collection from Cathy Caruth features interviews with a diverse group of leaders in the theorization of, and response to, traumatic experience in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Crossing the boundaries of discipline and profession, Caruth’s subjects include literary theorists and critics, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, political activists, filmmakers, public intellectuals, institutional leaders, and researchers. Exploring the intertwining of the intellectual and personal dimensions of experience, each interview is accompanied by Caruth's intimate photographic portrait of its subject.

Caruth chose her subjects because of their impact on her thinking as well as their significant role as witnesses to the collective and cultural significance of trauma. The individuals profiled here are innovators in the theory of trauma (Part I), in the clinical, activist, or testimonial interventions in trauma (Part II), or in the creation or modification of institutions that provide therapeutic, artistic, or legal responses to traumatic events (Part III).

Two of the interviews first appeared in Caruth's landmark 1995 work, Trauma: Explorations in Memory. The rest were conducted between 2011 and 2013 after the field of trauma studies expanded significantly.

Representing both the foundation of trauma research and cutting-edge approaches to the topic, this collection will be useful to practitioners with an interest in post-traumatic stress disorder as well as scholars exploring the multiple dimensions of profound human experience.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Grady Nia Project for abused, suicidal, and low-income African American women.

Cathy Caruth is Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University. In addition to Trauma: Explorations in Memory, her previous books include Literature in the Ashes of History; Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History; and Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud, all published by Johns Hopkins.

"The poet William Stafford wrote that 'the authentic is a line from one thing along to the next... it holds together something more than the world, this line.' Cathy Caruth has followed a line of thought and feeling in these interviews that is breathtaking in its intelligence, vulnerability and authenticity. Her goal, beautifully realized, is to 'hold together trauma and testimony.' Stafford ends with: 'Are you coming? Good: now it is time.' It is indeed."

"Cathy Caruth is one of the key founders of cultural trauma theory: her books have been indispensable. This collection of interviews shows how for twenty-five years Caruth's groundbreaking work has been established in dialogue with other key figures across the fields of holocaust studies, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology and memory studies. This book once more enacts Caruth's central lesson: that responses to trauma are best forged in the ethical act of listening to others."

"In this extraordinary enterprise, Cathy Caruth achieves what is by definition an impossibility: making familiar the unfamiliar country of trauma, the place of displacement par excellence; the lieu of an ‘erasure’, as Dori Laub would say, where language is at a loss and a new language struggles to be heard, thanks to the construction of a new channel created by the very act and presence of a totally committed listening."

"In this extraordinary enterprise, Cathy Caruth achieves what is by definition an impossibility: making familiar the unfamiliar country of trauma, the place of displacement par excellence; the lieu of an ‘erasure’, as Dori Laub would say, where language is at a loss and a new language struggles to be heard, thanks to the construction of a new channel created by the very act and presence of a totally committed listening."

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