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Accepted Paper:

Reaching into Pandora’s Box: the place of hope in the space of trauma  
Fiona Murphy (Dublin City University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper begins with questioning the somewhat problematic relationship between hope and traumatic experience. Through an ethnographic analysis of Australia’s Stolen Generations, it will examine the place of hope in lives fractured by the force of removal and trauma. Hope is traditionally examined as a future oriented disposition, a sentiment, belief, and emotion which binds us to an imagined future and lifts us from the intricacies of the present, at the very least for a moment. Trauma, on the other hand, is the forceful repetition of the past. Hope in traumatic experience, is ultimately about changing outcomes. My respondents have experienced hopelessness and despair throughout their lives as Stolen Children; hope, is what allowed many of them to survive. This paper will conclude with a reflection on how hope was articulated through the recent Federal apology, in the quest for reparations, and the discourse of reconciliation.

Panel W016
Envisioning the future, and hope
  Session 1