5th Global Conference: Trauma: Theory and Practice


Sunday 22nd March – Tuesday 24th March 2015
Lisbon, Portugal

“Trauma . . . implicates us all. It challenges us as it compels us to hear and to voice the strangled cries of the traumatised, to freely admit their experiences into the secret and silent places of our own violations. To do so even for a moment is to step beyond its gagging conspiracy. To have the capacity to share, witness, and acknowledge, to hear and then to speak back to the trauma of our times is a hope worthy of resolution.”

(Peter Bray, Foreword to The Strangled Cry, by Aparjita Nanda and Peter Bray (Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013), vii-viii.)

Call for Presentations
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to examine and explore issues surrounding individual and collective trauma in terms of practice, theory and lived reality. Trauma studies has emerged from its foundation in psychoanalysis to be a dominant methodology for understanding contemporary events and our reactions to them. Critics have argued that we live in a ‘culture of trauma.’ Repeated images of suffering and death form our collective and/or cultural unconscious. The fifth global conference seeks papers on a variety of issues related to trauma including: the function of memory, memorial, and testimony; collective and cultural perspectives; the impact of time; and the management of personal and political traumas.

Trauma has a thematic identity that exists on the interdisciplinary fringes of other subject areas, either peripherally nudging, or fully penetrating existing research, shifting cultures and influencing global politics. Thus, while we continue to welcome research papers of core theoretical and clinical interest, we would also warmly encourage those papers that address: trauma in disguise – how trauma is denied, hidden, re-presented in new guises; banal trauma – the rise of trauma culture and the changing definitions and conceptualisations of trauma, in particular its socio-cultural construction; intertextuality; displacement, migration, and homelessness; living with the realities of trauma;

Finally, whilst we will continue to encourage presentations that take the following forms: auto-ethnographical and experiential accounts, case studies, papers, performance pieces, reports, and works of art, works-in-progress, and workshops. We would also enjoy receiving submissions that might conceive of trauma as a space, or opportunity, to make life and behaviour changes, that supports psychological and emotional growth, and develops interests in spirituality across any of the following themes:

1. Theorising Trauma
~ Trauma and post colonialism – ideological and ethical considerations
~ Memory – recalling the ‘ghosts’ of trauma
~ Wounds of national identity
~ Trauma studies
~ Individual versus collective trauma
~ Socio-cultural perspectives on traumatic experience
~ Gender – differences, outcomes, and responses.
~ The body as a trauma a site
~ Psychic trauma – emotional and mental disorder
~ Resilience and trauma
~ Social justice and trauma – culturally different approaches
~ New theory, integration, and application

2. Representing Trauma
~ Aesthetics and experience
~ Affect, trauma, and art – embodiment and transformation
~ Eyewitness/bystander reports
~ Fear and horror – fact and fiction
~Gaming, violence and normalisation
~Trauma on stage, screen, and in cyberspace
~Traumatic expression
~ Language and media: mixing reality with fiction
~ Literature and poetry
~ New technologies of trauma
~ Reporting on trauma
~ Images and narrative relationships
~ Otherness, spirituality, and trauma

3. Personal Experiences and Local Contexts of Trauma
~ Bereavement: parent; sibling; partner loss
~ Abandonment
~ Betrayal
~ Peer pressure and bullying
~ Murder and assault – impact on the self and portrayal by the news media
~ Domestic violence – impact upon individuals and future service delivery
~ Child abuse and childhood trauma
~ Survivor guilt – in the wake of loss
~ Identity – de/construction and transformation
~ Disability – the affect on psychomotor skills
~ Witnessing trauma – helping those we love
~ Testimony
~ The interrogation, critiquing, representation, and/or creation of works that deal with fictional and actual traumatic events.

4. Public and Political Trauma
~ War and trauma, both past and present
~ Captivity and torture
~ Public disasters and trauma including environmental catastrophes
~ Disease, public health and trauma
~ Political trauma, silencing dissent/voicing dissent
~ Social trauma
~ Traumatic displacement and cultural uprooting
~ Inherited intergenerational trauma
~ Truth, remembrance, and reconciliation

5. Diagnosing and Treating Trauma
~ Critical questions of practice
~ Experiential trauma work and practical projects
~ Medical, therapeutic, and holistic approaches to trauma management
~ Non-medical therapies/approaches – the uses of drama, dance, narrative, bibliotherapy and scriptotherapy, music, art, and digital technologies
~ Vicarious traumatisation, secondary stress, and compassion fatigue. Professional helpers/researchers’ experiences and/or as survivors
~ Coping strategies – stress management and reduction
~ Person to survivor. Perspectives of change – identity, and post-traumatic growth
~Treatment as re-traumatisation

What to Send
The Steering Group also welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 31st October 2014. All submissions are minimally double blind peer reviewed where appropriate. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 23rd January 2015. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word  or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words
E-mails should be entitled: Trauma 5 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Peter Bray: pbray@eit.ac.nz
Rob Fisher: trauma5@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the ‘At the Interface’ programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.


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