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Ergebnisanzeige "Trauma Culture Made in Germany (GSA-Panel)"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelTrauma Culture Made in Germany (GSA-Panel)
BeschreibungDue to a cancellation, I am looking for a replacement paper for one of the GSA sessions I organized on "Trauma Culture Made in Germany." The session focusses on theorerical, conceptual and methodological questions. Please see the general cfp below.

Call for Papers: Proposed Session for the German Studies Association Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, October 2-5, 2008

Trauma Culture Made in Germany

In contemporary Western culture, ‘trauma’ has become such a pivotal and prevalent concept in both individual and group identity construction that we can speak of ‘trauma culture’ to describe societies in which trauma narratives are embodied in and disseminated through a vast number of cultural artifacts. Most important among them are TV – particularly American-style ‘confessional’ TV talk shows – film, and a textual genre referred to by social scientists and historians as life story narratives and, in their written form, by literary scholars as memoirs and autobiographies. In current trauma discourse – both popular and academic – everyone who suffers is considered a victim and increasingly victims are diagnosed and classified as having been traumatized.
While the trauma diagnosis – and the terminological change from ‘victim’ to ‘survivor’ –was originally intended to (and did) empower victims psychologically and politically, it nevertheless also depoliticized the discourse by focusing on the individual psychological consequences of traumatic events. The psychologization and pathologization of trauma through the focus on the individual caused a discursive shift from collective-political to individual-psychological responsibility. Thus, demands to for radical changes to the advanced capitalist societies – that both produce perpetrators of trauma and sell accounts of trauma as commodities – changed to warnings of how individuals should prevent becoming a victim.
While many – perhaps even most – of the new autobiographical narratives of suffering, victimization and trauma were initially written to give a voice to and empower the disenfranchised psychologically and politically, they nevertheless also contribute to the popularization of excessive violence and atrocities and the sentimentalization of suffering in texts many of which constitute little more than spectacular, exhibitionist confessions which feed the audience’s voyeurism.
The largely autobiographical writing to which the current cultural preoccupation with suffering, victimization and trauma gave rise includes vastly diverse accounts about sexual abuse, incest, rape, terminal illness and the general suffering of the disenfranchised. While current German discourse reflects these themes, it also has its own specific focus, most importantly the Holocaust and – within the so-called German Opferdebatte – the victims of bombings, expulsion and post-war mass rapes.

Papers may focus on, for example:
- Trauma Sells: The Trauma Book and Film Market
- Contemporary Lesewut: The Psychology of Reading Trauma Memoirs
- Pleasure and/in Pain: The Psychology of Watching Traumatic Films
- Trauma Culture and Reality TV Shows
- Trauma TV
- Trauma Culture and Holocaust Invention Stories
- Trauma Stories and/as Genre: Non-Fiction vs. Fiction
- Trauma Representation in Verbal vs. Visual/Filmic Representations
- Critiquing the Concept of the Readers’/Viewers’ ‘Secondary Traumatization’
- German vs. American Trauma Culture
- The Opferdebatte and/as Trauma Culture
- Perpetrator Trauma and/in German Trauma Culture
- Trauma and Popular Culture
- Trauma and/in Krimis
- The Entertainment Value of Trauma Representations

Please submit abstracts (of about 300 words) by August 31st to Anne Rothe at

Anne Rothe
Asst. Professor of German
Wayne State University

Anne Rothe, PhD
Assistant Professor of German
Dept. of Classical & Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures
487 Manoogian Hall
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
phone: 313-577-6237

Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortSt. Paul, USA
PersonName: Anne Rothe, PhD 
Funktion: Kontakt 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteratur nach 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte
Klassifikation00.00.00 ohne thematische Zuordnung
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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