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(HYB) Literature and Trauma

Past Sessions
Monday, June 13, 2022 14 Sivan 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person
Monday, May 30, 2022 29 Iyyar 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person
Monday, May 16, 2022 15 Iyyar 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person
Monday, May 9, 2022 8 Iyyar 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person
Monday, April 25, 2022 24 Nisan 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person
Monday, April 18, 2022 17 Nisan 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Zoom Room Bet & In Person

Severe trauma has profound effects that reverberate through the remaining years of an individual’s life.  The ways we respond, survive or succumb to trauma are as varied as the individuals who experience it.  These are not new ideas; literature has long grappled with how to translate the experience of trauma and its after-effects into language.   Homer’s classic tale of Odysseus’s transformation following the trauma he experienced during the Trojan War is an early example, and it is one of the most common themes in the modern novel.  In this class we will read three novels written between 1979 and 1998 that ponder the human response to severe trauma, and we will explore whether and how these novels illuminate this challenging subject.

William Styron's Sophie’s Choice, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things were chosen because of their artistry, depth and raw power.  The authors all use the English language exquisitely to tell a story that is compelling, complex and original.  All three are examples of the very best of modern English language fiction. These three works are at their core psychological novels.  Although set in historical contexts, they are not historical fiction.  Similarly, while the characters in these novels experience profound trauma, the books are less about the traumatic events themselves than the psychological effects of trauma and the ways we process, integrate and adapt to traumatic events. To further our understanding, we'll also read and discuss a few scholarly articles dealing with child abuse, survivor's guilt and collective trauma. Led by David Newman and Laura Orgel. 

(Please check back close to the date of this event for information on gathering. Depending on circumstances, it may take place in person, on Zoom, or both. If it will be accessed via Zoom, please use Zoom Room Bet. For login info, contact info@havurahshalom.org or see Hineinu.)

David Newman is a nurse practitioner. He also co-founded and serves as director of the Rafiki Village Project, which works in partnership with villages in Tanzania to help meet basic needs –  including access to education, health care, clean water, and economic opportunities – to break the cycle of poverty. As co-chair of Havurah's Book Group, he enjoys discussing books with other passionate readers, especially novels that challenge us to uncover their richness and depth.

Laura Orgel holds a PhD in psychology. In her private therapy practice she works with children, adults, and seniors. Through Havurah, she brings her psychology training, her lifelong love of reading, and her upbringing as the child of a psychoanalyst and a writer to her perspective on the literature of trauma. Previously she has taught Havurah workshops on child and family issues, including parenting.

 

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Sat, July 2 2022 3 Tammuz 5782