Child Trauma and Narrative Textures: Stories Across Media

Francesco Freddolini's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
May 5, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Humanities, Literature, Music and Music History, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

Call for Book Chapters


Child Trauma and Narrative Textures: Stories Across Media

Edited by Francesco Freddolini and Nathalie Reid

 

ALL THAT WE ARE IS STORY. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here. It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. (Wagamese, as cited in Janssens, 2017)

 

Trauma studies now have an established history and the concept of narrative has been widely adopted as a method of investigation that typically is used to construe trauma and its implications, to thematize and analyze it, and to psychologically understand/ treat those who live with trauma.  The Child Trauma Research Centre and the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Regina are jointly supporting an edited volume project that aims to pose underexplored questions, adopting a new cross-disciplinary approach.  Developing J. Roger Kurtz’s premise that “literary language, in its very nature, offers a uniquely effective vehicle for representing the experience of trauma in ways that ordinary language cannot” (Kurtz 2018, p. 8) this book will explore how trauma—and especially child trauma—has been and has become a focus of a variety of narratives across media.

Our main objective is to shift the attention away from literature and other forms of creative expression as sources to clinically dissect trauma in order to provide avenues for treatment.  Rather we imagine a methodology that adopts a more humanistic approach investigating textualities, theories, experiences, and practices of narration that revolve around child trauma, as we sense the essence of trauma has been, and continues to be, woven narratively into the fabrics of human creativity.  A focus on child trauma will support a cohesive and circumscribed scope, which will, in turn support the possibility of broadening the inquiry lenses as we invite engagement with (but not limited to) the following questions:

Why and how has child trauma become foregrounded in literature and visual arts? How do narratives articulate, shape, and respond to child trauma? How are narratives shaped by child trauma?  How are diverse narrative forms and their agencies shaping and shaped by understandings of trauma across time, and place, and through interaction.

 

A cross-media approach has also the potential to broaden and problematize the perspective, to contribute to the decolonization of trauma theories (an objective that scholars such as Irene Visser have urged us to pursue). We will also welcome chapters that explore child trauma across a wide chronological span. Even if the twentieth century has been defined as the  “Century of the Child” (Kumar and Multani), a time when the conceptualization of the child as such has taken shape, and child trauma has become a fully articulated concept, we acknowledge that creative endeavors have foregrounded child trauma avant la lettre (e.g. Hansel and Gretel). We hope to explore how trauma has become part of the narratives fabrics and textures of human existence from before we had a ‘word’ with which to label the traumatic experience (trauma before trauma), while in the midst of un/dis/re-covering its meaning (trauma as trauma emerges), and now in the context of multiple and complex intersections of experience (trauma in post-traumatic fabrics).  Therefore, we invite contributions from across the spectrum of literary studies, visual culture, art history, performance studies, and media theory.

We envision that a workshop with all selected authors will take place at the University of Regina in Spring 2021, to respond to drafts, and foster cohesion within the volume.

 

Please send a 300 words abstract and a brief CV (Max 1 page) by May 5, 2020 to:

Nathalie Reid

Director, Child Trauma Research Centre, University of Regina

nathalie.reid@uregina.ca

Francesco Freddolini

Director, Humanities Research Institute, University of Regina

francesco.freddolini@uregina.ca

 

 

Contact Info: 

Nathalie Reid

Director, Child Trauma Research Centre, University of Regina

nathalie.reid@uregina.ca

Francesco Freddolini

Director, Humanities Research Institute, University of Regina

francesco.freddolini@uregina.ca