This presentation provides designers and artists with a broad toolkit for thinking about trauma from cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and postcolonial perspectives, with the hope of connecting experiences and research while remaining sensitive to difference
The presentation brings together two bodies of knowledge relating to trauma research. The first is trauma theory – as it was developed within the humanities, and then the shifts that occurred as scholars worked to decolonise trauma theory. The second part considers the guidelines put out by SAMHSA (the substance abuse mental health
services administration), which has become an important working document for social and public health services.
Starting with this framework and moving beyond, I consider what the critical and
creative arts and design fields can learn from trauma-informed approaches or other
theories that recognize the prevalence of traumatic experience and its tremendous cultural
and epistemological ramifications, as well as societal and individual costs.
Drawing from the work of trauma theorists such as Cathy Caruth, Stef Craps, Michael Rothberg, and Catherine Malabou, the writing and work of Johanna Hedva, Boaventura De Sousa Santos’ epistemological theories, the
history of hysteria and Freud's theory on trauma and the ego, Ranjana Khanna's studies of psychoanalysis and colonialism, the work of Alison Kafer in reframing disability, this presentation will consider traumatized subjectivities and trauma-informed approaches from a contemporary, political, cultural, and technologized perspective.