Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture

Call for Papers: Trauma Studies in the Digital Age

3 March 2017

The international workshop ‘Trauma Studies in the Digital Age’, which will be held at the University of Amsterdam on May 10-12,2017, will discuss the emerging social phenomenon of digital trauma processing. It will advance the growing new field of digital trauma studies, which is located at the intersection of digital memory studies, cultural trauma studies, and digital media studies.

The workshop is part of Anna Menyhért’s individual Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellowship, supervised by Prof. Ellen Rutten at the University of Amsterdam. The project is titled 'Trauma Studies in the Digital Age: the Impact of Social Media on Trauma Processing in Life Narratives and in Trauma Literature: the Case of Hungary' (TRAPRODIG).

The workshop will examine the following questions:

– Will digital environments change the nature of trauma processing both on the personal and collective level?

– What forms this foreseeable change will take in different cultural and societal frameworks, and as a transcultural consequence of migration?

– Will changes be noticeable in terms of obliteration of differences in trauma processing in democratic and totalitarian systems of governance?

Besides full-length conference papers, the organizers are also looking for shorter think pieces that will stimulate discussion in order to develop the workshop into a very inspirational brainstorming session, with more time for discussion than usually there is at conferences. Submissions are invited to engage in the four main interrelated subthemes of the workshop that attempt to cover areas where digital trauma processing occurs and which can be analyzed in a humanities/cultural studies/literary studies framework; but any other topics related to trauma in the digital age are welcome. The four main subthemes are:

1) Personal trauma and digital identity in relation to social media as an online community: coping with illness, loss, grief, virtual cemeteries, the role of online support groups;

2) Transcultural trauma related to migration, forced migration, cultural shock and transnational (online) writing related to literary texts, blogs and Facebook groups;

3) Social media and the painful past: analyzing collective trauma processing online as well as collective memory and national identity formation; with a special ­– but not exclusive – focus on Post-Soviet countries, the East-Central European region and Hungary;

4) Literary (printed, offline) texts and (digital) trauma processing, referring to online reading groups, reviews in personal blogs, literary websites interpreting trauma texts.

Deadline call for papers: 10 March 2017. 

Published by  Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture