Psychologists have done a great deal of research on the effects of trauma on the individual, revealing the paradox that violent experiences are often secreted away beyond easy accessibility, becoming impossible to verbalize explicitly. However, comparatively little research has been done on the transgenerational effects of trauma and the means by which experiences are transmitted from person to person across time to become intrinsic parts of the social fabric. With eight contributions covering Africa, Central and South America, China, Europe, and the Middle East, this volume sheds new light on the role of memory in constructing popular histories - or historiographies - of violence in the absence of, or in contradistinction to, authoritative written histories. It brings new ethgraphic data to light and presents a truly cross-cultural range of case studies that will greatly enhance the discussion of memory and violence across disciplines.
Nicolas Argenti is a research lecturer at Brunel University. He has conducted research in North West Cameroon and Southern Sri Lanka on youth, political violence, and embodied memory. His monograph, The Intestines of the State: Youth, Violence and Belated Histories in the Cameroon Grassfields, has been published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Katharina Schramm is a lecturer in social anthropology at the Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. Her work in Ghana focuses on cultural politics, tourism, and the commemoration of the slave trade in diaspora homecoming. Her book Seeking the Motherland: Homecoming and Contested Heritage in Ghana will be published by Left Coast Press in 2010.