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University of Louisville Course Info

Louisville, Kentucky


Course Info

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WGST 625

Art and Trauma

Representations of Trauma in the Visual Arts is an advanced exploratory seminar examining the changing relationships between trauma and its representation in the twentieth century. Beginning with the Holocaust, the course charts a trajectory from this most profound of collective traumas, to the refinement of clinical definitions of trauma (e.g., PTSD) in the wake of the Vietnam War, the development of trauma studies in the humanities in the 1990s, to the recent "pictorial turn" within scholarship on trauma. This historical framework will be brought to bear upon the dynamics of how trauma and visuality have been approached by scientists, scholars, and artists. Each week's reading and viewing materials will offer students an example of historical or clinical account of trauma, a secondary or applied analysis, and its artist's original work that responds to the particular traumatic event under consideration. In this regard, students will be encouraged to negotiate the discursive relationships between history, theory, and practice

Units: 3.0