This book aims to question the junctions of the private and the public when it comes to trauma, loss, and the work of mourning - notions which, it is argued, challenge our very ideas of the individual and the shared. It asks, to paraphrase Adorno, 'What do we mean by "working through the past"?, 'How is a shared work of mourning to be understood?', and 'With what legitimacy do we consider a particular social or cultural practice to be "mourning"?' Rather than aiming to present a diagnosis of the political present, this volume instead takes one step back to pose the question of what mourning might mean and what its social dimension consists in. Contributors reflect on the trauma of the Holocaust, the after-effects of the Vietnam War in the US, the Lebanese war-torn experience, victims of the Pacific War in Taiwan, and the Chilean dictatorship.
Lene Auestad, PhD, is Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Oslo, and affiliated with the Centre for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities, Oslo. She moved to the UK to pursue long-standing interests in British psychoanalysis. Working at the interface of psychoanalytic thinking and ethics/political theory, her writing has focused on the themes of emotions, prejudice and minority rights. She is the author of 'Respect, Plurality, and Prejudice: A Psychoanalytical and Philosophical Enquiry into the Dynamics of Social Exclusion and Discrimination', and 'Psychoanalysis and Politics: Exclusion and the Politics of Representation', as well as a number of articles, including 'To Think or Not To Think', in the 'Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences', and 'Splitting, Attachment and Instrumental Rationality', in 'Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society'.