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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

I Forget I'm Not A Slut: Double Trauma and PTSD in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Love My Rifle More Than You

This paper explores trauma as it is represented in women's narratives. Drawing on Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861, and Kayla Williams' Love My Rifle More Than You, published in 2004, as points of comparison, the paper outlines the language of trauma and the variety of ways in which women are taught to ignore it. It argues that the Cult of True Womanhood, thought to be a relic of Victoriana, manifests itself even in post-feminist literature and prevents female authors from acknowledging the validity of their trauma in cases of sexual abuse, as in Jacobs' novel, or both sexual harassment and PTSD, as in Williams' memoir.

Presenter: Melissa Gioia (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 3:10 pm (Session IV)