Dr. Alexander Dunst (University of Nottingham/Berlin): "American Culture and Trauma Since 9/11"

21.07.2011, 14:15 Uhr, U5/00.24

This talk will analyze post-9/11 narratives of trauma in American culture – from novels and comic books to films and television. Why did the discourse of psychological trauma become such a dominant way of understanding the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? What can such representations of individual and social violence, memory and mourning tell us about the United States today, as we approach the tenth anniversary of these events? The lecture begins with a survey of  trauma studies and narrative before moving on to a reading of Don DeLillo's recent novels, from The Body Artist (2001) and Falling Man (2007) to Point Omega (2010). In particular, the talk concentrates on shifts within DeLillo's articulation of trauma and argues for their wider cultural and political significance.

Dr. Alexander Dunst holds a PhD in Critical Theory from the University of Nottingham and an M.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Vienna. In the Fall he will be a Visiting Lecturer at the Universities of Potsdam, Dortmund and Dresden. He is the co-editor of a special issue, titled Collective Subjects and Political Transformation, out with the social-science journal   Subjectivity; and has published articles and book chapters on Fredric Jameson, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick and cultural paranoia. At the moment, he is preparing a book manuscript titled "Mad America: Psychopathology and Cultural Politics from the Cold War to the War on Terror".