Trauma, Cultural Memory, Gender, and Reception in Lamentations

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag


The Old Testament offers not only narrative marks of collective trauma but also impressive and evocative traces of collective, cultural trauma in the poetic genres of prophecy, and lamenting and penitential psalms. This lecture will discuss the gendered presentation of communal trauma after the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in the Book of Lamentations. Here, the presentation of the collective suffering and pain in chapters 1–2 and 4 is most emphatically from a feminine perspective, balanced by the masculine voices of the neutral though impressionable “reporter” in chapters 1–2, the “strong man” in chapter 3, and the anonymous (non-gendered?) speaker in chapter 5. Building on the Jeffrey Alexander’s and Vamik Volkan’s concept of collective, chosen trauma as a necessary social construct, and the exegetical readings of Lamentations by Tod Linafelt, Kathleen O’Connor and Liz Boase, the lecture will ask which impact this gendering of voices might have for the communication of the message of Lamentations and for its reception by audiences, antique and current, traumatized or estheticized?
Periode24 sep. 2019
Sted for afholdelseRuprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Tyskland
Grad af anerkendelseInternational


  • Klagesangene
  • Collective Trauma
  • Gender