David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
AI and Society 27 (1):53-90 (2012)
Illness and trauma challenge self-narratives. Traumatized individuals, unable to speak about their experiences, suffer in isolation. In this paper, I explore Kristeva’s theories of the speaking subject and signification, with its symbolic and semiotic modalities, to understand how a person comes to speak the unspeakable. In discussing the origin of the speaking subject, Kristeva employs Plato’s chora (related to choreo , “to make room for”). The chora reflects the mother’s preparation of the child’s entry into language and forms an interior darkroom, the reservoir of lived experience, from which self-narratives issue. Unable to speak of their suffering, traumatized individuals need someone to help them make room for a time of remembrance, someone who is a willing and capable listener. I call such a person a healing witness . Through the mediating presence of the healing witness, fragmented memories of trauma are recreated and incorporated into self-narratives that are sharable with others. Unfortunately, opportunities for witnessing are vanishing. In the last section, I examine the failure of modern media and communication technologies to bear (“hold,” “carry,” “transport”) acts of witnessing. I argue that they perturb the semiotic. According to Kristeva, meaning arises from the dialectical tension between the semiotic (drives and affects) and the symbolic (logic and rules) and is threatened by arid discourse, psychosomatic illnesses, and outbreaks of violence when the semiotic is not represented . Unless we open technology to the imaginary, we risk losing the capacity to bear witness to one another and to create narratives and connections that are meaningful
|Keywords||Trauma studies Semiotic and symbolic Chora Narrative medicine Psychoanalysis Narrative competence Narrative ethics Media Computer mediation Communication theory|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Roland Barthes (2010). Camera Lucida : Reflections on Photography. In Christopher Want (ed.), Philosophers on Art From Kant to the Postmodernists: A Critical Reader. Columbia University Press.
Sara Beardsworth (2004). Julia Kristeva: Psychoanalysis and Modernity. State University of New York Press.
William H. Calvin (1990). The Cerebral Symphony: Seashore Reflections on the Structure of Consciousness. Bantam.
Ernest Gellner (1959/1960). Words and Things. Boston, Beacon Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Evelien Geerts, Julia Kristeva’s Subversive Semiotic Politics. A Conceptual Analysis of Kristeva’s Notions of the Semiotic Chora, Maternity and Feminism.
Maria Margaroni (2005). “The Lost Foundation”: Kristeva's Semiotic Chora and Its Ambiguous Legacy. Hypatia 20 (1):78-98.
Rodolphe Calin (2005). The Exception of Testimony. Levinas Studies 1:73-97.
Sjoukje Meulen (2012). Witness and Presence in the Work of Pierre Huyghe. AI and Society 27 (1):25-42.
Stephen David Ross (2010). Unremembering. International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series:61-98.
Phil Turner (2012). An Everyday Account of Witnessing. AI and Society 27 (1):5-12.
Marie Baird (1997). Death Camp Survival and the Possibility of Hope. Philosophy and Theology 10 (2):385-419.
Judith Butler (1989). The Body Politics of Julia Kristeva. Hypatia 3 (3):104 - 118.
Sharon Rosenberg (1996). Intersecting Memories: Bearing Witness to the 1989 Massacre of Women in Montreal. Hypatia 11 (4):119 - 129.
Ewa Ziarek (1992). At the Limits of Discourse: Heterogeneity, Alterity, and the Maternal Body in Kristeva's Thought. Hypatia 7 (2):91 - 108.
Caroline Nevejan & Frances Brazier (2012). Granularity in Reciprocity. AI and Society 27 (1):129-147.
Evgenia Fotiou (2012). Working with “La Medicina”: Elements of Healing in Contemporary Ayahuasca Rituals. Anthropology of Consciousness 23 (1):6-27.
J. Shapiro (2011). Illness Narratives: Reliability, Authenticity and the Empathic Witness. Medical Humanities 37 (2):68-72.
Jean-Pierre Dupuy (2010). The Narratology of Lay Ethics. NanoEthics 4 (2):153-170.
Added to index2011-08-26
Total downloads15 ( #120,034 of 1,411,338 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,015 of 1,411,338 )
How can I increase my downloads?