School of Social Sciences

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Lee-Von Kim

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 2133
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1030

Start date

May 2005

Submission date

Nov 2010

Lee-Von Kim

Lee-Von Kim profile photo


Enduring Presence: Trauma and Haunting in Visual Culture


My thesis examines the representation of historical trauma in visual cultural productions from Australia, South Africa and the USA. My project is concerned with how the traumatic legacies of antebellum slavery, settler colonialisms and apartheid persist long after the traumatic events themselves, and how these lingering presences shape and inform present-day social relations.

Focusing on selected cultural productions by William Kentridge, Clara Law, Tracey Moffatt and Kara Walker, I propose that haunting, figured as a mode of critical engagement, might enable an ethical witnessing of visual representations of historical trauma and their persistent legacies.

Why my research is important

This project intervenes in the existing discursive frameworks of trauma studies, visual studies and postcolonial theory, and attempts to think anew how images - both still and moving - might facilitate an ethical engagement with the legacies of historical trauma.