Thesis Title

Speaking of trauma...

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Dr. Arash Davari; Dr. Shampa Biswas


How does narrative, in varied forms, help us understand subject formation in the wake of trauma? This essay explores how voices are heard and by whom through a comparison of the Jewish Holocaust and the modern phenomenon of drone warfare. It focuses on how people come to understand their experiences, specifically the ones that are not supposed to make sense. Do differences in the particularities of someone’s experiences affect the ways they come to understand what happened to them? Do these particularities affect how others come to understand these experiences as well? And finally, who is allowed to “think” about those events, and who is not? Focusing specifically on personal testimony and its relationship to narrative, this is a discussion of the ways that distinct stories are reproduced and represented so as to make sense within western structures of common understanding. This essay suggests that the work of comparison may offer some possibilities political solidarity, as it goes against any notion of clear categorization.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Frankl, Viktor E. -- (Viktor Emil) -- 1905-1997 -- Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager -- English‚ Psychic trauma‚ Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)‚ Air warfare‚ Drone aircraft‚ Experience -- Personal narratives‚ Comparison (Psychology)‚ Power (Social sciences)‚ Comprehension‚ Social sciences‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Politics Department

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis



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