Introduction
Traumatic events and international horror cinema
in The wounds of nations
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Trauma studies, an interdisciplinary area within the humanities, came into existence in late 1970s through psychoanalytically informed and holocaust-focused academics. This chapter is a theoretical caucus that attempts to articulate and critique the diverse ways in which traumatic memories have been inscribed as wounds on the cultural, social, psychic and political life of those who have experienced them, and those cultural products that seek to represent such experiences to those who have not. Trauma studies can thus be seen as a body of theoretical scholarship that addresses itself to cultural memory, to the modes in which traumatic historical events are representationally transmitted in time and space, to the politics of memorialising such events and experiences, and to the cultural significance of vicarious modes of witnessing trauma. Concerned with the socio-cultural and psychological ramifications of trauma, both Trauma studies and the trauma-raddled and wound-obsessed genre that is horror cinema can be seen to address themselves to psychic and social sites where individual and group identities are constituted, destroyed and reconstructed. Later this chapter turns to a discussion of author's experience with this genre.

The wounds of nations

Horror cinema, historical trauma and national identity

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