I didn’t take the “trauma theory” course this semester, which was probably a mistake. One thing that continually bothers me about academic discourse is how it denies, disseminates, and disavows violence against women. It seems like every week we read at least one book– and often it’s one book in each class— that in one scene/context or another depicts rape and/or domestic violence. But when we discuss the books we rarely talk about these things, or we talk about them with familiar literary models/tropes without commenting upon the fact that rape/domestic violence abounds in literature across genres, across geographical boundaries, across classes and races, across periods.
What is this compulsion with recording violence against women, and why do we shove it away or put it into neat categories which we can then discuss without discussing the real violence, real damage, real trauma of rape? It seems comparable, to me, to reading postmodern literature without discussing the Holocaust. There is real violence that affects real people— why aren’t we talking about that?
Everyone, I think, who’s in academia has some problem with how removed Academic discourse is from social relevance, action, politics, etc. At Buffalo a floating argument was that Academia was actually one of the most conservative realms of discourse there is because it provides all these ways of discussing “hot topics” without ever really actually discussing them or doing anything about them.
Cupcakes. Outside my house we have acquired a little owl. Hooot, he says.