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Traumatic Possessions The Body and Memory in African American Women's Writing and Performance von Griffiths, Jennifer L. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 12.01.2010
  • Verlag: University of Virginia Press
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Traumatic Possessions

Studies of traumatic stress have explored the challenges to memory as a result ofextreme experience, particularly in relation to the ways in which trauma resonates within thesurvivor's body and the difficulties survivors face when trying to incorporate theirexperience into meaningful narratives. Jennifer Griffiths examines the attempts of several AfricanAmerican writers and playwrights to explore ruptures in memory after a traumatic experience and todevelop creative strategies for understanding the inscription of trauma on the body in a racializedcultural context.In the literary and performance texts examined here,Griffiths shows how the self is reconstituted through testimony-through the attempt to putinto language and public statement the struggle of survivors to negotiate the limits placed on theirbodies and to speak controversial truths. Dessa in her jail cell, Venus in the courtroom, Sally onthe auction block, Ursa in her own family history, and Rodney King in the video frame-eachcharacter in these texts by Sherley Anne Williams, Suzan-Lori Parks, Robbie McCauley, GaylJones, and Anna Deavere Smith gives voice not only to the limits of language in representingtraumatic experience but also to the necessity of testimony as the public enactment of memory andbodily witness.In focusing specifically and exclusively on the relationof trauma to race and on the influence of racism on the creation and reception of narrativetestimony, this book distinguishes itself from previous studies of the literatures oftrauma.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Erscheinungsdatum: 12.01.2010
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780813928951
    Verlag: University of Virginia Press
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