THE LONG SHADOW: LITERARY AND CINEMATIC REPRESENTATION AND RE-IMAGINATION OF CHINESE FEMALE TRAUMAS IN THE SECOND SINO-JAPANESE WAR
This dissertation enriches the field of Comparative Literature by examining the trauma narratives of Chinese women in wartime through a cross-cultural and cross-medium lens. It focuses on their experiences as they are articulated in a variety of texts and visual media, in the process offering an exploration of the intersection between gender, trauma, and war. By incorporating theoretical frameworks from Western trauma studies into an analysis of Chinese and Asian contexts, the study further contributes to Comparative Literature by fostering an intercultural dialogue. This unique approach uncovers shared patterns of human suffering and resilience, providing new insights into the universality and particularity of trauma representation. The dissertation extends the boundaries of Comparative Literature by examining the influence of gender on the construction and reception of trauma narratives. It also gives a novel contribution by addressing broader social and political issues both in the context of China, Asia, and globally. The four chapters examine the portrayal of women’s experiences produced generations after the war, focusing on the following topics, respectively: the witness of sexual violence, the challenges of representing feminine pain, repetition of traumatic memory, and the complexity of individual and collective experiences in relation to wartime traumas. By analyzing mostly novels, as well as films and testimonies, the dissertation emphasizes the importance of considering both historical records and shared personal memories, as well as the role of artistic expression in fostering empathy and understanding. This research offers a valuable contribution by illuminating the enduring and complex impact of war on women’s lives. Furthermore, it provides a strong foundation for future studies, ultimately contributing to a more nuanced understanding of the representation of traumatic experiences of individuals and communities affected by trauma.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Comparative Literature
- West Lafayette