Event date: Tuesday 18 March 2008, 5.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Location: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Blandijnberg 2, Faculty Room
“Wounds in Time and Space: Collective Trauma and Postcolonial Narrative” given by Dr. Shane Graham (Utah State University)
“In cultural and literary studies, trauma theory has most often drawn on a paradigm of traumatic memory derived from Freudian psychoanalytic theory. This model has been very useful for explaining the temporal disruptions and formal experimentation we see in so many post-traumatic narratives. But the Freudian model also has serious limitations: in its focus on the individual survivor of traumatic violence, it fails to account for the broader trans-generational and collective manifestations of trauma so clearly apparent in postcolonial literatures from Africa and the Caribbean. This talk will attempt to theorize an alternative model for collective postcolonial trauma, focusing in particular on the trope of inexplicable scars and wounds that will not heal in The Heart of Redness (2000) by South African novelist Zakes Mda and on Omeros (1990) by Caribbean poet Derek Walcott.”
Dr. Shane Graham is an assistant professor of English at Utah State University, and was formerly a Mellon postdoctoral research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has publications in print or forthcoming in Studies in the Novel,Modern Fiction Studies, Theatre Research International, Safundi,Research in African Literatures, Scrutiny2, and English Studies in Africa. He is currently completing a book-length manuscript on space, place, and memory in South African literature after the Truth Commission.