Performance Research Volume 16 Issue 1

On Trauma

Issue editors: Mick Wallis & Patrick Duggan

ISBN: 978-0-415-674423

The idea of trauma has become so used in the public sphere as to become almost meaningless in its ubiquity. But this is also to say that we live in a historical moment in which society feels bound to its traumatic experiences. Trauma, it would seem, has become a cultural trope. Furthermore, contemporary trauma theory suggests a performative bent in traumatic suffering itself – the trauma-symptom is, after all, a rehearsal, re-presentation, re-performance of the trauma-event. This is not to trivialise traumatic suffering or detract from the insistence that trauma narratives must adequately, truthfully, be borne witness to so as not to diminish the weight of the original event. On Trauma explores a range of instances in which performance becomes a productive frame through which to address traumata and/or where trauma theory illuminates performance. With papers examining topics from African funeral rituals to witnessing, and ethics to Argentinean scratches, this issue of Performance Research benefits from a cross-cultural dynamic which brings together academic articles on and artistic responses to performance that embodies, negotiates, negates or provokes trauma.


Mick Wallis, Patrick Duggan

pp. 1 - 3

Trauma and Performance: Maps, narrative and folds

Patrick Duggan, Mick Wallis

pp. 4 - 17

The Mask Series (1998- ) [artist’s pages]

Victoria Halford

pp. 18 - 19

‘If There’s No Justice …’: Trauma and identity in post-dictatorship Argentina

Diego Benegas

pp. 20 - 30

Whose Memory? Whose Justice?: Personal and political trauma in Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden

James Weaver, Jeanne Colleran

pp. 31 - 42

A Dance of Many Bodies: Moving trauma in Susana Tambutti’s La puñalada

Victoria Fortuna

pp. 43 - 51

Adonis Flores: Paranoia as the cult of emptiness

Elvia Rosa Castro

pp. 52 - 58

The Performance of Violence and the Ethics of Spectatorship

Lisa Fitzpatrick

pp. 59 - 67

Never Again and its Discontents

Laurie Beth Clark

pp. 68 - 79

Folding Trauma: On Alfredo Jaar’s installations and interventions

Michael Levan

pp. 80 - 90

Sta(i)r Falling

Branislava Kuburović

pp. 91 - 101

Intolerable Acts

Anna Harpin

pp. 102 - 111

Trauma, Authenticity and the Limits of Verbatim

Amanda Stuart Fisher

pp. 112 - 122

Mercy Seat [artist’s pages]

Jules Dorey Richmond, David Richmond

pp. 123 - 130

African Funeral Rites: Sites for performing, participating and witnessing of trauma

Victor Ukaegbu

pp. 131 - 141

Acting Out Trauma in the Theatre of Embarrassment: George Tabori’s Shylock Improvisations

Antje Diedrich

pp. 142 - 152

Architecture as Frame for Trauma: Video installations by Paul McCarthy

Anna-Lena Werner

pp. 153 - 163

Trauma and Erasure [artist’s page]

Gwynneth Vanlaven

pp. 164 - 164

Notes on Contributors

pp. 165 - 166