Critical Trauma Studies

Understanding Violence, Conflict and Memory in Everyday Life

320 pages

14 b/w halftones

March, 2016

ISBN: 9781479822515



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Monica J. Casper is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the School of Sociology and the Africana Studies Program at the University of Arizona. Her publications include Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility.

All books by Monica J. Casper

Eric Wertheimer is Professor of English and Associate Vice Provost of the Graduate College at Arizona State University, where he is the Founding Director of the Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies. He is the author of Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in Early America and Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, 1771-1876, as well as many works of poetry and prose. Mylar, his first book of poetry, was published by BlazeVOX in 2012.

All books by Eric Wertheimer

Trauma is a universal human experience. While each person responds differently to trauma, its presence in our lives nonetheless marks a continual thread through human history and prehistory. In Critical Trauma Studies, a diverse group of writers, activists, and scholars of sociology, anthropology, literature, and cultural studies reflects on the study of trauma and how multidisciplinary approaches lend richness and a sense of deeper understanding to this burgeoning field of inquiry. The original essays within this collection cover topics such as female suicide bombers from the Chechen Republic, singing prisoners in Iranian prison camps, sexual assault and survivor advocacy, and families facing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As it proceeds, Critical Trauma Studies never loses sight of the way those who study trauma as an academic field, and those who experience, narrate, and remediate trauma as a personal and embodied event, inform one another. Theoretically adventurous and deeply particular, this book aims to advance trauma studies as a discipline that transcends intellectual boundaries, to be mapped but also to be unmoored from conceptual and practical imperatives. Remaining embedded in lived experiences and material realities, Critical Trauma Studies frames the field as both richly unbounded and yet clearly defined, historical, and evidence-based.


  •  "Critical Trauma Studies opens the subject of trauma to sociological investigation in interesting and fruitful ways."

    Canadian Journal of Sociology

  •  "The articles provide us with thought-provoking insights into social and cultural aspects of personal experiences of trauma."

    Qualitative Sociology

  • Critical Trauma Studies is an important contribution to charting new directions for a trans-disciplinary field of the study of trauma.It addresses the need to bridge critical theory and various practices of care provision and offers important meeting points for a diversity of trauma discourses.”

    —Jack Saul, author of Collective Trauma, Collective Healing

  • “Given all the focus on trauma studies these days, it is time for a compilation of essays from a variety of perspectives and practices.This anthology is a welcome, thought-provoking, and a unique addition to the study of trauma, one that should expand our thinking and practice.”

    —Judith Alpert, author of Sexual Abuse Recalled

  • “In this collective enterprise, all authors thoroughly explore the various dimensions of an experience which is at the crossroads between historical and personal tragedies, between the politics of suffering and the poetics of reconstruction.”

    —Didier Fassin, author of The Empire of Trauma