Trauma and Visuality in Modernity

Lisa Saltzman, ed.; Eric Rosenberg, ed.

This groundbreaking collection is among the first in the field of art history to explore the relation between the traumatic and the visual field in the modern period. Ranging across media and spanning from the origins of modernity to the present, the essays gathered here pursue trauma as a structuring yet elusive subject of representation. Examining the most revelatory instances of encounter between event and image, between history and visual form, this collection offers an account of the centrality of trauma’s visualization to an understanding of modernity.

Paper: $34.95
ISBN-13: 9781584655169
Pages: 304 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: February 17, 2006


  • Art's engagement with the horrors of modern history and the traumas they have induced has been deep, persistent, wrenching, evolving, and frustrating. The essays in this volume explore that relationship with imagination, insight, and passion, ranging widely across forms of trauma, artistic media and styles, and interpretive approaches.

    Michael Leja
    Professor, Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
  • This collection helpfully amplifies a vivid set of questions that haunt art and objecthood in modernity and that situate art objects, images, and acts as, themselves, haunting. What is it to 'witness' art when art itself may bear unspeakable witness to history's traumatic events or their aftershocks? The editors have carefully chosen texts that continue to open out the visual field to its extra-visual intimations and its phenomenal effects, adding art historical depth to the deeply modern hope that the visual field is always more than meets the eye and more than can neatly congeal in narrative, in memory, or in time.

    Rebecca Schneider
    Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, Brown University

About the Author

Lisa Saltzman

Eric Rosenberg

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