Narratives of Trauma

HNR 340 - Narratives of Trauma

MySlice Info:

Term: Spring 2020
Class #: 32696
Section: M006
Credits: 3

Hall,Karen J

Counts toward:
HNR Hum, Interdisciplinary

Course Time(s):
Th 06:30pm-09:15pm

Bowne Hall 304C

Course Description:

The list of agents causing humans to experience trauma is continually increasing and the specialists who study trauma attempt to keep pace. In this class, a unique mix of individuals from many disciplines will read stories written by and about humans experiencing trauma. Our “home base” will be the humanities, and students will bring expertise from biology, psychology, social work and a variety of other fields. Together, we will ask questions and draw conclusions about the many ways that trauma influences the way that we structure stories. Readings will include Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies, Maus by Art Spiegelman, selections from The Things They Carried by Tim Obrien, and critical studies including Chorus of Stones by Susan Griffin, Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, and Nazi Doctors by Robert Jay Lifton. We will read and discuss works of fiction and memoir in order to learn to recognize the characteristics of stories told by individuals who have experienced trauma whether from an intimate relationship or a government institution or an environmental disaster. One goal of recognition of trauma narratives is to help individuals resolve the harm trauma causes. In this case, being a “good reader” can mean helping others to heal. A scholarly act brought into everyday life can bring comfort and compassion to a world disrupted by trauma and pain.