Archives for : postcolonial trauma

An imagination for stressors: trauma as a global network

traumaWhat do we make of trauma when we recognize that it does not happen in isolation, but in a political and global context? There is no easy answer. Tariana Turia writes of “Postcolonial Traumatic Stress Disorder,” and Alvin Poussaint and Amy Alexander write of “Posttraumatic Slavery Syndrome.” (pp. 12-20) Something is troubling about this expansion of trauma, as it seems to confuse the cause (such as global capitalism, or slavery) with the result (trauma). On the other hand, one can understand the desire to make this connection explicit. Since trauma is regularly defined in terms of a singular causal event (the stressor), postcolonialism or the legacy of slavery normally don’t count.

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