Transmitted Wounds

Transmitted Wounds: Media and the Mediation of Trauma

Paperback Published on: 13/10/2021
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In Transmitted Wounds, Amit Pinchevski explores the ways media technology and logic shape the social life of trauma both clinically and culturally. Bringing media theory to bear on trauma theory, Pinchevski reveals the technical operations that inform the conception and experience of traumatic impact and memory. He offers a bold thesis about the deep association of media and trauma: media bear witness to the human failure to bear witness, making the traumatic technologically transmissible and reproducible.

Taking up a number of case studies--the radio broadcasts of the Eichmann trial; the videotaping of Holocaust testimonies; recent psychiatric debates about trauma through media following the 9/11 attacks; current controversy surrounding drone operators' post-trauma; and digital platforms of algorithmic-holographic witnessing and virtual reality exposure therapy for PTSD--Pinchevski demonstrates how the technological mediation of trauma feeds into the traumatic condition itself. The result is a novel understanding of media as constituting the material conditions for trauma to appear as something that cannot be fully approached and yet somehow must be.

While drawing on contemporary materialist media theory, especially the work of Friedrich Kittler and his followers, Pinchevski goes beyond the anti-humanistic tendency characterizing the materialist approach, discovering media as bearing out the human vulnerability epitomized in trauma, and finding therein a basis for moral concern in the face of violence and atrocity. Transmitted Wounds unfolds the ethical and political stakes involved in the technological transmission of mental wounds across clinical, literary, and cultural contexts.

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • ISBN: 9780197600795
  • Number of pages: 198
  • Weight: 249g
  • Dimensions: 142 x 208 x 15 mm

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