Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Trauma and Repair

ENGL 590.401
crosslisted as: COML 590
Thursdays 3-6:00 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 3: Early Literature to 1660 of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Trauma has become the privileged vocabulary for claims of injury in modern times.  How does trauma operate in legal and psychoanalytic theories of harm and repair?  How do we think an ethics of repair after genocide and nuclear holocaust?  Indeed, how does such an ethics allow us to reconsider the universalizing aspirations of the human and human rights?  Our seminar will explore problems of trauma and repair in law, political theory, and psychoanalysis as well as in a number of literary texts and films.  Throughout the semester, we will pay attention to the relationship between human rights and decolonization movements in the postwar and Cold War periods and, in particular, to their collective impact on the evolution of trauma studies and discourses of reparation.