Cover of Trauma and Memory by Edited by Austin Sarat, Nadav Davidovitch, and Michal Alberstein
Trauma and Memory
Reading, Healing, and Making Law
Edited by Austin Sarat, Nadav Davidovitch, and Michal Alberstein


336 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804754057
Ebook ISBN: 9780804768122


Excerpts and More

Trauma and Memory explores different dimensions of trauma, both its relationship to the social sphere and to group identity, in order to open up new approaches to trauma from a healing perspective. The book's specific focus is doubly unique: first, because of its interest in the tension between collective and individual trauma (in trauma as socially constructed and related to identities of ethnicity, nationality, gender, and class); and second, because of its interest in the legal and medical professions (in their construction of trauma, their ways of treating it, their failures, and even their production of trauma). Trauma and Memory reflects the ways in which, over the last several decades, a growing interest in the social and cultural contexts of law and medicine has transformed the study of both these professions. The authors provide new readings of social and political phenomena—such as immigration, public health, gender discrimination, and transitional justice—in terms of trauma. Finally, they address the therapeutic dimensions of trauma and their relationship to reconciliation via alternative processes such as mediation, truth committees, and other new forms of justice.

About the authors

Austin Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. Nadav Davidovitch, MD, MPH, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Public Health, Ben Gurion University, Israel. Michal Alberstein, SJD, LLB, is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Bar Ilan University, Israel.

"At its heart, Trauma and Memory makes one crucial argument: collective memory, whether conceived of as trauma or, simply, 'history,' fundamentally takes work As a whole, this volume is a provocative examination of violence, suffering, and reconciliation, and will be of interest to those who are concerned with their interconnected nature, and are open to the analysis of such issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives."

—Dimitri A Bogazianos, Division of Criminal Justice, Cal State Sacramento