Storytelling and Trauma: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
6 to 7 October 2018
Storytelling is inextricably linked to the history of human beings in a bewildering variety of oral and visual formats. Storytelling is a fundamental tool in recording personal, familial, communal and national narratives. But it can also be linked to a process of expressing and working through trauma, of breaking silence, of finding a voice for suffering and pain as witnessed in the growth of “communal digital storytelling” embodied, for example, in the rise of shared storytellings of trauma such as #MeToo and #TimesUp. The ability to tell other people about what has happened to you brings into focus the uses of storytelling as narrative therapy for traumatic experiences from childhood to adulthood as well as from the personal to the collective.
Storytelling and Trauma seeks to explore both Storytelling and Trauma with particular focus on the inter-relatedness of the two. Stories and images of trauma surround us all the time, to the point of almost desensitising us to the suffering of others and the empathy and compassion we should naturally feel. Storytelling and trauma forces us to face, confront and resolve the suffering and pain of others—a process that involves the acknowledging of the trauma/traumatic event, bearing witness and a working through the trauma and the disruption caused to and in their lives. Thus the response to Storytelling and Trauma engages all levels of human living and thinking, individually and collectively, locally and globally.
Bringing the two together implies an interdisciplinary engagement with a spectrum of disciplines, art forms, geographical and historical contexts as well as multi-lingual and multi-cultural perspectives. Our first global gathering aims to examine the dynamics of Storytelling and Trauma in all its permutations. We welcome and encourage interdisciplinary proposals from all disciplines, professions, NGOs, voluntary sector, artists, scholars, workers, professionals, musicians, to name a few. It is the aim of the conference meeting to provide an interdisciplinary nexus which binds all these layers of theories and practices together in a safe and respectful sharing space.
Unlike other conferences or gatherings, our Event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for artists, photographers, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, academics, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations, and connections. We are excited to accept proposals for presentations, displays, exhibits, round tables, panels, interactive workshops and more. Below is an indicative but not exhaustive list of possible approaches, all of them residing at the point of connection between Storytelling and Trauma:
- Oral / written / visual narratives of identity, belonging, im/migrations
- Literary, artistic and filmic storytelling
- Life writing genres (autobiography, memoirs, letters, ethnography, etc.)
- Testimony as storytelling trauma: fiction vs. non-fiction, official history vs. reality
- Truth and Reconciliation
- Private and personal storytelling and trauma
- Public, political, religious, activist storytelling and trauma
- Social media: twitter, Facebook, Youtube
- Trauma and memory
- Writing trauma: healing and transformation
- Healing: survival and resilience; forgiveness and reconciliation
- Abuse, bullying; the workplace
- Sex and sexuality; rape, sex crimes, gender crimes
- Empathy, allyship, solidarity, activism
- Popular culture and media
- Social justice and human rights: war, civil war, conflict
- Violence, torture, and atrocity
- Pedagogy, education, and social awareness
- Digital spaces
- Comics, graphic novels, animation
- Young adult literature; children stories
- Power, resistance, rebellion, revolution
- Shame, taboo, and suffering
- Wounding, loss, death, grief and mourning
- Spectral spaces, haunted geographies, memorialization
- Fake news
If you don’t see something here that you think belongs, please tell us! We are happy to entertain other ideas that examine the rich, generative and exciting space that these fields create.
What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off Powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and roundtables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event.
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, etc.
300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday, 11 May 2018.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday, 25 May 2018.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday, 7 September 2018.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Storytelling and Trauma Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
Organising Chair: Cristina Santos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Administrator: email@example.com
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
For further details and information please visit the conference website: http://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/health-and-illness/storytelling-and-trauma/conference/