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The Afterlives of Trauma: Art and Memory

January 24, 2022 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm

In this lecture opening the Center’s virtual art exhibition—Experience, Integration, Expression: The Work of Norman Klenicki—Dr. Levitt will discuss art as affording an opportunity to consider the lingering effects of trauma and loss, illness, and carrying on. She states, “Art helps us feel. It is affective and touches us impressionistically. It helps open us up to unexpected connections and distinctions, things we have not already thought or felt.” Audre Lorde said: “Poetry is not only dream and vision: it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before” (Lorde, “Poetry is Not a Luxury”). Dr. Levitt will suggest that art enables us to reflect more deeply about what has already been, and “lays the foundations for a future of change,” to quote Audre Lorde. Building on her 2020 book, she will discuss how objects serve as prompts for memory, how they ground and give new life to stories, and how these stories enable a kind of doing justice outside of the law.

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