Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

49: Trauma


| Spring 2014 |
Edited by Paula M. Gardner and Charles Reeve

When culture responds to trauma, it seems self-evident that three mechanisms are involved: the event, the trauma it provokes, and the cultural response. But what if that is backwards? What if trauma is itself a cultural production, borne of a need for societies to see themselves as traumatized? By bringing together essays, artistic interventions, and poetry, this collection examines trauma’s relation to culture in a variety of settings, from contemporary visual culture, to the art of the Inuit, to personal remembrances. Along the way, our contributors inspect the place of catharsis in the constellation of event, disturbance, repression, and release. To highlight the complexity of these mechanisms, we are especially pleased that “Trauma” includes “For You, The War is Over,” a previously-unpublished recollection by Canadian Airman Lloyd McCracken of his time in a Nazi POW camp, presented here with the generous permission of his family.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Black Holes in the Sciences: Trauma, Culture, Aesthetics,Paula M. Gardner and Charles Reeve
  • Frames of Atrocity: Resistance and Left Melancholy, Francis Frascina
  • Angel, poem 1:14, Lynn Crosbie
  • The Lived Aesthetics of Trauma, Paula M. Gardner
  • Catharsis in Inuit Art: A Way to Heal Wounds, Florence Duchemin-Pelletier
  • “For You The War Is Over”: An Airman Remembers, Lloyd C. McCracken
  • The Sincerest Form of Irony: Fun and Games in a Post-September 11 World, Charles Reeve


  • Ku Klux Klan of Canada Imperial Decree, Opening Ceremony, Deanna Browne
  • Gift Horse, Blake Fitzpatrick and Vid Ingelevics


  • Ian Balfour, Drama Trauma


  • Ellyn Walker, “Critical Dialogues: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Curating and Artistic Practice,” Toronto, 2013
  • Stephen Broomer, Explosion in the Movie Machine, Edited by Chris Gehman
  • Miha Colner,Memory of Fire: Images of War and the War of Images, Edited by Julian Stallabrass

144 pages
$20 or subscribe