Interview with Jordanne Edwards by Raquel Luna –
- The subject of your study is trauma in socio-political contexts. Could you explain this notion of trauma in more detail?
Trauma stems from the ancient Greek word meaning “wound”. Initially it was used to describe the physical effects of railway accidents, and later the psychological effects of war on soldiers. But from the 1960s onwards, the term started showing up in anti-war, anti-racism and feminist social movements, and this continues to this day. Now the term has expanded beyond its traditional place as a medicalised category into socio-political contexts. From terms such as sexuality-based trauma, racial trauma and, more recently, climate change trauma – we see the term being used to point to contemporary demands for social justice. While the language is increasingly being used, not enough is fully understood about how these discourses are perceived and created within the communities concerned. I think it’s so important to pay closer attention to the emerging ways in which the language of trauma is being constructed to explain contemporary issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Exploring the new meanings attached to the word is critical to understanding how communities are affected by discrimination and how they continue to make sense of and respond to these issues.