Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies

33.2 | MODALITIES OF TRAUMA IN (MULTI)CULTURAL CONTEXTS: Protagonists, Representations and Recovering

30 May 2016 - 04 Jun 2016
Course directors:
Nebojša Blanuša, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Jennifer Edmond, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Stefan Berger, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
Tomasz Bilcezewski, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Ene Koresaar, University of Tartu, Estonia
Mridula Mukherjee, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Laura Izarra, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil
Ronald Eyerman, Yale University, United States
Masahiro Shimoda, University of Tokyo, Japan
Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University, United States
Sean Homer, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Course description:

Crisis producing processes, initiated in the 19th century but pervading to our time, are usually described in the narratives of the lost community (and alienation), anomie or moral chaos, extreme instrumental rationality, decaying mass culture, ecological destruction and industrialization of war, mass violence and genocide. These processes profoundly shaped the 20th century as the period of violence and trauma. Their influences are still present, reverberating in current economic and political crises, wars, forced mass migrations, growing xenophobia and fascist tendencies especially in Europe, as well as in other parts of the world.

The main goal of this course is to explore and understand the thorny issue of traumatic (post/sub/beyond)-national self-perception, and to create a platform for intercultural knowledge exchange.

This year course lectures, research activities and discussions will be focused on double face of cultural trauma, expressed in narratives of victims and perpetrators, as well as of other categories of traumatized people. Especially prominent are those related to current migrant crisis, e.g. refugees, immigrants, host populations etc. For that reason we shall explore:

- Conditions of emergence and ways of social construction of victims' and perpetrators' narratives as well as narratives of other endangered collectivities,

- Dynamics of their relationships within the same and between different collectivities and discourses of the Nation and Culture,

- Roles of various protagonists in the construction of trauma (carrier groups, victims, survivors, bystanders, the public etc.)

- Dynamics and relationships of individual and collective trauma narratives

- Ideological continuities and discontinuities in meaning making processes and trauma memory

- Art, politics and ethics of trauma representation

- The role of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in trauma reproduction and healing processes

- Sovereignty disruptions and recuperations and their relationship to identity politics

- Trauma of exile and immigration and Hos(ti)pitality

Starting this year, students at the course will participate in the empirical research of local war traumas in Dubrovnik, titled Untold Fragments of the Homeland War. Activities will include: interviews of the main local protagonists of the war and presentations of findings at the University of Sarajevo.

Furthermore, we shall start the new section, titled Individual and Collective Traumas: communicating between different approaches and disciplines. The purpose of the section is to welcome exchange of ideas and knowledge between cultural trauma and other approaches focused on trauma as individual phenomenon. By this we would like to push forward our understanding of interconnectedness of different levels of trauma and to widen interdisciplinarity of the project.

* This course offers 3,5ECTS points for lecture attendance, research project, reading assignments and final presentation.

Course lecturers:
Jyoti Atwal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Nebojša Blanuša, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Tihomir Cipek, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Davor Dukić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Stevo Đurašković, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Ronald Eyerman, Yale University, United States
Eugenie Georgaca, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sean Homer, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Ana Ljubojević, University of Graz, Austria
Pero Maldini, University of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Aigi Rahi-Tamm, University of Tartu, Estonia
Kai Schafft, Penn State University, United States
Attached documents