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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Communication

Year Degree Awarded

2014

First Advisor

Leda Cooks

Second Advisor

Anne Ciecko

Third Advisor

Lisa Henderson

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

This dissertation analyzes the post-conflict cinema in the region of the former Yugoslavia, and the way that this particular form of cultural production establishes affective regimes within which bearing witness to trauma becomes variously articulated to national identity, history, politics, and memory. Using affect and trauma theories as organizing frameworks, my project looks at the way in which post-Yugoslav cinema has become a pivotal outlet for the process of working through the trauma of recent violent history in the region. I examine this process through its various iterations, from its applications to identity - be it ethnic, national, class, age, gender or sexuality-based - to its influence on normativizing some narratives as history while concealing others. One of the key arguments of this dissertation is that certain trauma narratives represented through cinema have the potential of destabilizing the essentialist locating of trauma within singular (here predominantly ethno-national and heterosexual) identity, by offering a pathway towards affective attachments of empathy towards the Other instead.

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Communication Commons

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