Civil conflict, trauma and resilience: a reflection on my own work

Forna, A (2020) Civil conflict, trauma and resilience: a reflection on my own work. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

Abstract

Literary trauma theory, in tandem with the clinical understanding of trauma, has been evolving rapidly since the mid-1990s. In this thesis I will examine how emerging and shifting theories have intersected with my own writing on trauma in relation to civil conflict. Until recently, trauma theorists have largely and unquestioningly viewed the portrayal of trauma in fiction as important for its ability to create empathy in readers. However, empathy alone has not been the primary goal of my own writing and I question its usefulness as an end in itself. Rather, and by describing my process and the evolution of my own creative thinking, I have strived over nearly twenty years of writing and publishing at prompting from my readers an engagement with the narrative that goes beyond empathy, one which might promote internal change which would in turn produce a fresh perspective. I challenge reflexive assumptions about trauma and describe the ways in which literature might offer victims, in place of pity, the possibility of healing and even transcendence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Note:

PhD by Publication.

Keywords: creative writing, trauma theory, civil conflict, empathy, healing, fiction, PhD by publication
Divisions: School of Creative Industries
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 17:59
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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