Literary trauma studies is a rapidly developing field which examines how literature deals with the personal and cultural aspects of trauma and engages with such historical and current phenomena as the Holocaust and other genocides, 9/11, climate catastrophe or the still unsettled legacy of colonialism.

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma is a comprehensive guide to the history and theory of trauma studies, including key concepts, consideration of critical perspectives and discussion of future developments. It also explores different genres and media, such as poetry, life-writing, graphic narratives, photography and post-apocalyptic fiction, and analyses how literature engages with particular traumatic situations and events, such as the Holocaust, the Occupation of France, the Rwandan genocide, Hurricane Katrina and transgenerational nuclear trauma.

Forty essays from top thinkers in the field demonstrate the range and vitality of trauma studies as it has been used to further the understanding of literature and other cultural forms across the world.

chapter |8 pages

Introduction to Literary Trauma Studies

ByColin Davis, Hanna Meretoja

part Part I|80 pages

Sources and inspirations

chapter 1|12 pages

History of Trauma Theory

ByNicole A. Sütterlin

chapter 2|13 pages

Philosophies of Trauma

ByHanna Meretoja
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chapter 3|9 pages

Trauma, Poststructuralism and Ethics

ByColin Davis

chapter 4|9 pages

Theories of Cultural Trauma

ByTodd Madigan

chapter 5|12 pages

Trauma and Cultural Memory Studies

ByRosanne Kennedy

chapter 6|13 pages


ByMeg Jensen

chapter 7|10 pages

Trauma, Time and Address

ByCathy Caruth

part Part II|95 pages

Key concepts

chapter 8|9 pages


BySusana Onega

chapter 9|11 pages

Perpetrator Trauma

ByErin McGlothlin

chapter 10|10 pages


ByCarolyn J. Dean

chapter 11|10 pages

Screen Memory

ByMax Silverman

chapter 12|10 pages


ByJean-Michel Ganteau

chapter 13|11 pages


ByAndreea Deciu Ritivoi

chapter 14|10 pages


ByJakob Lothe

chapter 15|11 pages


BySharon Marquart

chapter 16|11 pages


ByKaisa Ilmonen

part Part III|100 pages

Critical perspectives and future directions

chapter 17|14 pages

Cosmological Trauma and Postcolonial Modernity

BySam Durrant, Ryan Topper

chapter 18|10 pages

Trauma and the Implicated Subject

ByMichael Rothberg

chapter 19|9 pages

Transcultural Empathy

ByKatja Garloff

chapter 20|10 pages

Cognitive Approaches to Trauma and Literature

ByJoshua Pederson

chapter 21|11 pages

Trauma, Critical Posthumanism and New Materialism

ByDeniz Gundogan Ibrisim

chapter 22|16 pages

Trauma Studies in the Digital Age

ByAnna Menyhért

chapter 23|9 pages

Reading Literatures of Trauma in the Age of Globalization

ByKaisa Kaakinen

chapter 24|9 pages

Trauma, Illness and Narrative in the Medical Humanities

ByJo Winning

chapter 25|10 pages

Climate Trauma

ByStef Craps

part Part IV|75 pages

Genres and media

chapter 26|9 pages

Trauma and Fiction

ByRobert Eaglestone

chapter 27|9 pages

Trauma and Poetry

ByCharles I. Armstrong

chapter 28|12 pages

Trauma and Life-Writing

ByLeena Kurvet-Käosaar

chapter 29|11 pages

Graphic Narratives as Trauma Fiction

ByKatalin Orbán

chapter 30|11 pages

Trauma and Drama/Theatre/Performance

ByPatrick Duggan

chapter 31|10 pages

Trauma and Photography

ByCécile Bishop

chapter 32|11 pages

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and the Future Anterior

ByJouni Teittinen

part Part V|91 pages

Places and events

chapter 33|11 pages

Trauma in Holocaust Literature

BySue Vice

chapter 34|11 pages

The German Occupation of France, 1940–44

ByAvril Tynan

chapter 35|10 pages

The Vietnam War

ByMark Heberle

chapter 36|12 pages

Narratives of the Rwandan Genocide

ByJosias Semujanga

chapter 37|11 pages


ByLucy Bond

chapter 38|10 pages

The Iraq War

ByPatrick Deer

chapter 39|10 pages


ByEric Doise

chapter 40|14 pages

Transgenerational Nuclear Trauma

ByGabriele Schwab