AbstractsWomens Studies


This thesis seeks to explore how women express psychological trauma through the writing of fiction. By analysing the historical context of what psychological trauma has meant to women, and how they have represented it, the thesis proposes a model which is based on the recurrent sources of trauma for women, the ???triple trauma??? of othering, violence, and voicelessness. By using cross-cultural examples from the writing of Austrian Ingeborg Bachmann, German writer Christa Wolf, and the New Zealand M??ori writers Patricia Grace and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, questions are asked about the similarities and differences of how psychological trauma is represented through fiction, and what this means for the female protagonists of the texts, the female writers, readers and the cultures and societies out of which these writings originate. In analysing these relations, this thesis finds that the fictional writing about the sources and experiences of trauma can expose a range of ideological connections, and that the writing and reading about these connections constitutes a valid trauma discourse. This trauma discourse supports the aim of contemporary feminist traumatology which is to make women???s trauma visible, give meaning to it, and ultimately create frameworks that promote the healing (and prevention) of trauma.