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

  • Restrepo Espinosa, Maria Elena (PI)
  • Charry-Sánchez, Jesús David (CoI)
  • Caicedo Ramirez, Juliana Andrea (CoI)

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

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.