The London Lectures 21-22: Expanding Horizons
María del Rosario Acosta López (University of California, Riverside)
What would it mean to do justice to testimonies of traumatic experience? That is, how can experiences which do not fit the customary scripts of sense-making be heard? Whereas processes of official memorialization or legal redress often demand that victims and survivors convey their experiences through familiar modes of narration, in my project on “grammars of listening” I want to ask how it might be possible to hear these experiences on their own terms and what are the challenges that we encounter when trying to do so. What I ultimately want to argue is that doing justice to trauma requires a profound philosophical questioning of the conditions that allow us to listen to testimony, and a true reckoning of the responsibility that we bear as listeners.