Studies in Composition/Rhetoric/ Language: Writing, Healing, and Trauma

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to scholarly investigations of  writing, healing, and trauma primarily from within the field of Composition Studies, while also introducing relevant scholarship in the allied fields of literary studies, cultural studies, indigenous studies, psychology, media studies, and English education. It begins with an overview of a variety of disciplinary definitions of key terms trauma and trauma studies and then works to set these inquiries in conversation with relevant scholarship on healing and writing, both inside and outside of the classroom context. The course draws from  trauma studies scholarship that is centered in Holocaust studies as well as from perspectives on writing, healing, and trauma that privilege indigenous experiences, methods, and epistemologies. 



Weekly discussion posts on readings; two short papers on monographs/edited collections; first draft, oral/digital presentation, peer review, and final draft on individual research projects.


Required Texts:

Online readings will be made available via Laulima and will likely include the following:

Andermahr, Sonya, editor. Decolonizing Trauma Studies: Trauma and Postcolonialism.

Caruth, Cathy. Trauma: Explorations in Memory.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. “Let Us be the Healing of the Wound.”

Batzer, Benjamin. “Healing Classrooms.”

Beltrán, Ramona, and Stephanie Begun. “‘It Is Medicine’: Narratives of Healing from the Aotearoa Digital Storytelling as Indigenous Media Project (ADSIMP).”

Desser, Daphne. “Public Memory, Memoir, and the Shoah: Narrating Inherited Trauma.”

 ——. “Teaching Writing in Hawai‘i after Pearl Harbor and 9/11: How to ‘Make Meaning’ and ‘Heal’ Despite National Propaganda.”

Fujikane, Candace. “Mapping Abundance on Mauna a Wākea as a Practice of Ea.”

Gagnon, John. “Rewriting Trauma: Survivor Rhetoric and Transformation in Human Trafficking Stories.”

Justice, Daniel Heath. “Introduction: Stories That Wound, Stories That Heal.”

Powell, Malea. “Rhetorics of Survivance: How American Indians Use Writing.”

Ryden, Wendy. “From Purgation to Recognition: Catharsis and the Dialectic of Public and Private in Healing Writing.”

Spear, Rachel N. “’Let Me Tell You a Story’: On Teaching Trauma Narratives, Writing, and Healing”

Smith, Cherryl, and Rāwiri Tinirau, editors. He Rau Murimuri Rahoha: Wāhine Māori Insights Into Historical Trauma and Healing.

Traverso, Antonio, and Mick Broderick. “Interrogating Trauma: Towards a Critical Trauma Studies.”