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Traumatic Possessions - by Jennifer L Griffiths (Paperback)

Traumatic Possessions - by  Jennifer L Griffiths (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
Traumatic Possessions - by  Jennifer L Griffiths (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
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About this item


Number of Pages: 134

Genre: Literary Criticism

Sub-Genre: American

Format: Paperback

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Book theme: African American

Author: Jennifer L Griffiths

Language: English

Street Date: January 12, 2010
TCIN: 78567128
UPC: 9780813928845
Item Number (DPCI): 247-34-7985


Studies of traumatic stress have explored the challenges to memory as a result of extreme experience, particularly in relation to the ways in which trauma resonates within the survivor's body and the difficulties survivors face when trying to incorporate their experience into meaningful narratives. Jennifer Griffiths examines the attempts of several African American writers and playwrights to explore ruptures in memory after a traumatic experience and to develop creative strategies for understanding the inscription of trauma on the body in a racialized cultural context.

In the literary and performance texts examined here, Griffiths shows how the self is reconstituted through testimony--through the attempt to put into language and public statement the struggle of survivors to negotiate the limits placed on their bodies and to speak controversial truths. Dessa in her jail cell, Venus in the courtroom, Sally on the auction block, Ursa in her own family history, and Rodney King in the video frame--each character in these texts by Sherley Anne Williams, Suzan-Lori Parks, Robbie McCauley, Gayl Jones, and Anna Deavere Smith gives voice not only to the limits of language in representing traumatic experience but also to the necessity of testimony as the public enactment of memory and bodily witness.

In focusing specifically and exclusively on the relation of trauma to race and on the influence of racism on the creation and reception of narrative testimony, this book distinguishes itself from previous studies of the literatures of trauma.

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