Dr. Catherine Liu - The Gentrification of Suffering

Thursday, October 5, 2023 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Merten Hall, 1203

Dr. Catherine Liu - The Gentrification of Suffering

Dr. Liu, a professor of Film & Media Studies at UC Irvine will be presenting her work on the following:

"Trauma is inseparable from the emergence of industrial and then finance capitalism. And since the days of the railway spine, it has been good for business: Modern technologies created modern afflictions that were treatable not by priests and shamans but by legal, medical or psychological experts. This history of trauma’s emergence as a legal and financial category critical to the development of industrial and then finance capitalism’s class configuration is generally ignored by trauma experts, who range from psychologists to self-help gurus.

Today, the ways that psychological trauma is performed and privileged in public discourse — which I will refer to as trauma culture — promotes an ideology of individual suffering that is remarkably well adapted to the spectacle-induced amnesia of late capitalism. Trauma culture destroys the political and historical ground on which to form a critique of capitalism. Since the end of the Cold War, it has worked tirelessly under the guise of progressive politics to reify and depoliticize liberalism's ideal of the public sphere. In doing so, trauma culture has stymied class politics and destroys our capacity for solidarity and intersubjectivity."

This event will be held in Merten Hall, at 4:30 P.M., room 1203. Or, if you can't attend in person, you can do so virtually by signing up at this link

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