Trauma Culture and Politics: The Israel and Palestine Conflict in Persepctive
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Department: Social Sciences
Course Number: NPSY 3863
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course examines the intimate connections between the emotional and the political lives of individuals and communities. Using the Israeli–Palestinian conflict as a case study, we examine the often hidden relationship between people’s history and their psychosocial functioning. Individuals and communities that have suffered severe psychological damage from historical traumas are compromised in their political and social functioning, often unable to integrate and metabolize the traumas. We draw on the historical narratives of both sides of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to deconstruct inner psychic structures. Through readings, lectures, films, and simulation exercises, we examine the impact of trauma on individuals and societies: the impact of the Israeli occupation upon the Palestinian psyche, the effects of the Holocaust and of continuous war on Israelis, and the interplay between mass trauma and political conflict. Our inquiry integrates clinical research with studies of history, human security, and conflict resolution. Every student is expected to write a research paper and take part in a group simulation experience exploring an aspect of the conflict.