Warfare and the trauma cobweb: human suffering and the emergence of technical objects.

Project: Research project

Project Details


‘Technical objects,’ including war
neuroses (shell shock, hysteria and neurasthenia) and post-traumatic stress disorder,
are considered to emerge from historical and cultural practices within the
field of medicine, rather than representing epistemological developments. These
objects have been intertwined with disciplines such as surgery, neurology,
psychoanalysis, and psychiatry, constituting a complex cobweb of trauma and
warfare in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition, these objects
emerged from clinical and experimental experiences oriented towards the
understanding of human pain and social suffering derived from warfare. Researchers
have often been unable to go beyond a medical stance and its limitations in
terms of understanding human pain and collective suffering. Interestingly, the
discovery of memory and its relationships
with fear, shame, guilt, and trauma, became additional threads of the cobweb,
with trauma occupying a central
position. Trauma encompasses multiple
meanings, connections, and disagreements, constituting a unique signifier for a
plurality of types of suffering and illness. This review sought to elucidate the
cobweb of various aspects of trauma,
unfolding its trajectory since emerging during the First, Second, and Vietnam
Wars. This review sought to further understandings of human pain and social
suffering, and core related issues within the practice of medicine.


hysteria, post-traumatic stress disorder, shell shock, trauma

Commitments / Obligations

Short titleWarfare and the trauma cobweb
Effective start/end date10/3/186/30/22

Main Funding Source

  • Internal