15 July 2023
Transdisciplinary Trauma Studies: Trauma Through Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
Course rationale and aims
Individual and collective traumas are increasingly at the heart of social and political decision-making in different parts of the world. Different forms of trauma shape our perception of social reality, ranging from #MeToo and BlackLivesMatter to the Stolen Generations and the Holocaust, the pandemic, and climate catastrophes. They impact the ways we recognize and remember but also forget and silence past and present injustices. The divergent attitudes towards these traumatic experiences determine both how our societies currently look and how they will look in the future. The comprehensive assessment of different facets of trauma is thus urgent.
The field of Transdisciplinary Trauma Studies represents the new tendencies in the intersecting areas studying trauma in the 21st century. The necessity to incorporate diverse perspectives on trauma coming from different cultures as well as different academic disciplines prompts the need for re-conceptualizing the field of trauma studies.
The proposed course is part of a longer curricular/training initiative; the initiative of a new program in Transdisciplinary Trauma Studies. The course thus is mapping the results of a new research field in teaching, providing information on the newest developments of trauma research, and bringing together approaches from across disciplines such as cultural studies, psychology, history, computer science, gender studies, human rights, and beyond.
We will show students how the element of trauma is present in various areas of social and cultural life, how trauma-informed approaches help understand processes of othering and traumatization, and how they can help in building resilience. We aim to make our students familiar with innovative approaches to studying trauma in different academic fields and provide them with capacities necessary for developing greater empathy: we would like our students to acquire knowledge and also develop an awareness of the complexity of how trauma is interwoven into enduring forms of conflict or oppression, and how the long-term impact of trauma is present in our own time.
The seminars cover some of the newest topics in trauma studies, including continuous trauma; catastrophe-related trauma and resilience; digital trauma and trauma-related content curation by algorithmic systems; gendered trauma; migration trauma; human rights and trauma; and the comparative study of historical trauma; representations of trauma in the arts, literature, film.
Course Format & Main Themes
The course combines lectures with method practicums with additional collaborative formats (e.g., a reflective walking tour and student presentations).
The seminars and lectures intersecting cover 5 main themes discussed during the week:
Theoretical foundations of transdisciplinary trauma research
Psychological trauma and psychosocial consequences of traumatization
(Digital) media and trauma
Trauma, memory, and representations in literature and film
Human rights, politics, and trauma
Department of Cultural Studies, The University of Jewish Studies, Budapest, Hungary
The program encourages applications from students (BA, MA, Ph.D.) and postdoctoral researchers in various fields of social sciences and humanities, and also professionals in trauma-related positions in NGOs, and cultural, educational, and policy institutions. To address the diversity of the participants, the course combines introductory classes (e.g. overview of academic perspectives on trauma studies/literary and film representations of trauma) with more advanced and topic-specific classes (e.g. social media and trauma transmission or computer science perspectives on trauma). In this way, students with different levels of familiarity with the field of trauma studies as well as different educational levels will be able to fulfill their learning goals.
We do not require any systematic previous knowledge of trauma or trauma or trauma studies; however, we require a detailed letter of motivation and a proposed trauma-related topic, together with a page-long explanation, that the student will present during the student-presentation sections.
We will show students how the element of trauma is present in various areas of social and cultural life, and how trauma-informed approaches help understand processes of othering and traumatization, and how they can help in building resilience. We aim to make our students familiar with innovative approaches in studying trauma in different academic fields and provide them with capacities necessary for developing greater empathy: we would like our students to acquire knowledge and also to develop an awareness of the complexity of how trauma is interwoven into enduring forms of conflict or oppression, and how the long-term impact of trauma is present in our own time.
Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate of attendance is also awarded.
EUR 360: payable until May 28
EUR 324: The early-bird fee is payable until April 30.
The Open Society University Network is offering scholarships for
- currently enrolled students and employees of OSUN member institutions
- applicants from the Global South and
Fee waivers are available for students of CIVICA institutions.