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Trauma-tragedy investigates the extent to which performance can represent the ‘unrepresentable’ of trauma. Throughout, there is a focus on how such representations might be achieved and if they could help us to understand trauma on personal and social levels. In a world increasingly preoccupied with and exposed to traumas, this volume considers what performance offers as a means of commentary that other cultural products do not.

The book’s clear and coherent navigation of complex relation between performance and trauma and its analysis of key practitioners and performances (from Sarah Kane to Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, Harold Pinter to Forced Entertainment, and Phillip Pullman to Franco B) make it accessible and useful to students of performance and trauma studies, yet rigorous and incisive for scholars and specialists. Duggan explores ideas around the phenomenological and socio-political efficacy and impact of performance in relation to trauma. Ultimately, the book advances a new performance theory or mode, ‘trauma-tragedy’, that suggests much contemporary performance can generate the sensation of being present in trauma through its structural embodiment in performance, or ‘presence-in-trauma effects’.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. p. viii
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 1 Trauma’s performative genealogy
  2. pp. 13-30
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  1. 2 Trauma-tragedy: a structure of feeling
  2. pp. 31-57
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  1. 3 Mimetic shimmering and the performative punctum
  2. pp. 58-84
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  1. 4 Performance ‘texts’ as sites of witness
  2. pp. 85-114
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  1. 5 Being there: the ‘presence’ of trauma
  2. pp. 115-150
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  1. 6 Another view
  2. pp. 151-172
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  1. Conclusion: trauma-tragedy and the contemporary moment
  2. pp. 173-186
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 187-200
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 201-212
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 213-214
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