Postgraduate students research a broad range of topics across the School disciplines.
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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.
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.