Graduate Association of French and Italian Students (GAFIS) “Trauma” Symposium

Graduate Association of French and Italian Students (GAFIS) “Trauma” Symposium

March 25 @ 8:00 amMarch 26 @ 5:00 pm

Co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies and the Department of French and Italian

The 35th annual Graduate Association of French and Italian Students (GAFIS) symposium will be held March 25 – 26, 2022 at the Pyle Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus.


The concept of trauma, which is a site of interpretation itself, is largely understood as the impact of disruptive experiences on one’s sense of self as well as one’s perception of the external world. The causes and outcomes of these traumatic experiences are not uniform, as they are shaped by the nature of the traumatic event as well as by gender, sex, race, sexuality, ability, and more. The variability of how trauma is experienced, processed, represented, and reacted to invites us to contemplate the interplay between the individual and society as well as the relationship between experience and language. It raises profound questions about the impact of trauma on memory, identity, selfhood, knowledge production, self-expression, self-representation, and individual and collective consciousness. At the Trauma: Renovation and (Re)action Symposium, we propose an enriching exploration of how trauma is expressed in literature, film, theater, art, history, psychology, cultural studies, and political science. Our goal is to foster dynamic intellectual exchanges about how trauma manifests across various disciplines and media as we discuss the greater implications of these disruptive experiences.

KEYNOTE: Professor Eden Wales Freedman

Professor Wales Freedman’s research focuses on American literature and race, gender, trauma, and reception theories. The title of Professor Wales Freedman’s talk is: “”Reading Testimony, Witnessing Trauma: Confronting Violence in Literature and Life.”


• Prof. Grazia Menechella (University of Wisconsin, Madison–Italian)


• Prof. Eden Wales Freedman (Clarke University)
• Prof. Ernesto Livorni (University of Wisconsin – Madison, Italian)
• Prof. Richard Goodkin (University of Wisconsin – Madison, French)

For more information and to register for the event, click HERE

See this event on the European Studies Calendar.