Trauma theory is concerned with gaining recognition of instances of trauma and studying the cultural implications of trauma. Our contemporary research collections seek to analyze the relationship between psychological trauma and cultural interpretation. This research vision was strongly influenced by the work of Dr. Kali Tal, whose seminal book Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma presents a cultural criticism of historical and personal trauma narratives. Dr. Tal’s work focuses on the Vietnam War, the Holocaust, and sexualized violence against women and children.

Special Collections curates four distinct research collections which explore how traumatic cultural phenomena are interpreted through various creative means. Resources in these collections include fictive writing in the form of novels, short stories, drama, and film scripts. Audio-visual resources include graphic art, painting, documentaries, television productions, sound recordings, games and ephemera.