Traumatic truths and the gift of telling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores how three modalities of writing dissertation, memoir, and autoethnography negotiate the tensions between poststructuralist and psychoanalytic notions of truth as experienced by survivors of trauma. Although the nebulous nature of truth contrasts with the healing powers of speaking one's truth, this article argues that autoethnography in its experimentally analytic potential to produce meaning in and out of original contexts allows the writer to unearth the multiple truths of trauma. In doing so, the writer/survivor can heal while sharing with others the politics and hope of speaking about our traumatic truths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-167
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Auto-ethnography
  • Lesbian battering
  • Memoir
  • Trauma
  • Truth-telling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Traumatic truths and the gift of telling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this