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Trauma and Media: Theories, Histories and Images

This book provides the first comprehensive account of
trauma as a critical concept in the study of modern visual
media, from Freud to the present day, explaining how
contemporary trauma studies emerged from research on
Holocaust representation in which the audiovisual testimony
of survivors was posed as an authentic alternative to popular
television and film dramatizations. It argues that the media
coverage of 9/11 and the subsequent 'war on terror,'
however, has revealed how the formation of communities of
witness and commemoration around 'traumatic events' can
perpetuate violence and inequality.
The book explains how Benjamin, Adorno and Barthes,
drawing from psychoanalysis, analyzed the roles of fantasy,
ideology and collective identification in mass media, and
began to understand trauma as a defining feature of modern
experience. It proposes that the insights of these earlier
theorists, along with more recent arguments by Derrida,
Agamben and Zizek, continue to provide important
perspectives on today's politics of mediated shock and terror.

About the Author:
Allen Meek is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Massey
University.

Table of Contents:
Introduction
1: Theories, Histories and Images
2: Photography and Unconscious Optics
3: Critical Theory, Mass Culture and Film
4: Barthes: The Traumatic Image and the Media Code
5: After Auschwitz: A Community of Witness
6: Virtual Trauma: After 9/11
Notes
Bibliography
Index


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Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu