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Interrogating Trauma: Arts & Media Responses to Collective Suffering
International Conference
Perth, Western Australia
2-4 December 2008

As we quickly approach the second decade of the 21st century the continuing occurrence of catastrophic historical events around the world has unfortunately not waned. Interrogating Trauma seeks to provide a crucial space of critical reflection about the potentials and limitations of various modes of creative and theoretical engagement with human pain and trauma. Keynote speakers, panels and presenters, as well as the accompanying exhibition and performance of art and media works, will consider methodologies, orthodoxies, and openings in order to articulate creative strategies for imagining the 'beyond' of trauma through arts and media responses.

In calling for proposals, inter- and trans-disciplinarity as well as traditional scholarly, ficto-critical and literary writing were encouraged. The response to our Call For Papers (pdf format) was extremely strong with panel/paper abstracts and art/film exhibition proposals from regions around the world, including Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North and South America, and South Africa - all promising an exciting and diverse conference. Unfortunately, not all abstracts could be accepted and the criterion for selection focussed on the extent to which the proposals explored the intersection of theories, histories, and memories of collective suffering, and media and artistic responses to these experiences. Selected conference papers will be peer-reviewed for publication in a special journal issue and/or scholarly press anthology, provisionally entitled Interrogating Trauma: Arts & Media Responses to Collective Suffering.

We would like to thank our sponsors: the various departments and organisations linked to Curtin University and Murdoch University, which have generously provided financial and in-kind support to make this conference possible. We would also like to give special thanks to our keynote speakers, Felicity Collins, Suvendrini Perera, Susannah Radstone and Janet Walker, for their enthusiastic and supportive response. We also thank the UK film artist Vicky Smith for allowing us to use a still from her film Stacking (one of the titles in our film screening program) as the conference's emblematic image. Finally, our very special thanks go to all our conference delegates—scholars, artists, writers and postgraduate students—for your interest and contribution. We would like to welcome you all to the conference and wish you a safe and stimulating experience in Perth, Western Australia. We look forward to meeting you in December.


Dr Antonio Traverso
(Curtin University)  
Dr Mick Broderick
(Murdoch University) 
Dr Miyume Tanji
(Curtin University)