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Think Pieces

Vol 2 No 3: December issue

Beyond trauma, beyond humanitarianism, beyond empathy: A commentary

  • Veena Das
August 10, 2015
December 9, 2015


The authors of this Special Section invite us to consider what it means to go beyond the common trope of ‘trauma’ in conceptualizing events in the Middle East. Considering the question in relation to these contributions, I ask: is trauma a concept with sharp edges or a word at hand saturated with context that grows out of the experience of life and its many dissolutions? Together, this collection challenges the reader to think further about a family of concepts that might be honed out of the experience of survivors. It also calls for rethinking the idea of the Middle East itself as a region from which we could get an opening into different ways of showing what it is to be a chronicler of how life is being remade.