The Theory of Cultural Trauma in the Light of its Criticism
The present survey aims to overview the criticism on the theory of cultural trauma, as well as to define the specific character of this theorem in the light of its critical judgement. Trauma studies, an interdisciplinary field of humanities has been successful for over two decades and this popularity manifests itself also in the very early emergence of severe criticism. The first wave of critics attacked especially the fact that Shoshana Felman’s and Cathy Caruth’s arguments regard the trauma as a metaphysical centre, as opposed to their point of origin in deconstruction. Because of this defect, Wulf Kansteiner, the fiercest critic considers even the use of the term cultural trauma an ethical delinquency. At this point, however, he himself can be criticised too: he fails to make any conceptual distinctions, based on which one could clearly distinguish between individual, psychic trauma and cultural traumas. In case of an individual trauma the medium is the body, the therapy is the representation, thus the traumatic experience becomes part of another medium. Mediality is an inevitable factor in the interpretation of any trauma, which we can also conclude when taking into consideration other context such as the theory of cultural memory or narratology. Therefore, I finally argue for the integration of the aspect of mediality into trauma-theory.