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Trauma and the Ontology of the Modern Subject: John Roberts: Oral Defense of PhD dissertation

Trauma and the Ontology of the Modern Subject: John Roberts: Oral Defense of PhD dissertation

The College of Social Sciences’ Department of Psychology would like to announce the oral defense of the Ph.D dissertation of John Roberts. The defense will be held in the Dean’s conference room, Pafford building, 3rd floor on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM


John Lloyd Roberts, MA, JD – Doctoral Candidate- Department of Psychology


Roberts’ dissertation, situates trauma historically as a persistent rupture in the philosophical structuring for the modern subject, bearing the failure of representation and integrative temporality, and it suggests that continual deconstruction of such discourse calls for an ontology of trauma. Although drawing from Foucault, the dissertation argues that Heidegger, Levinas, and Lacan capture the ontological and ethical dimensions of trauma through several aspects of self-withdrawal – that of being-towards-death, alterity or non-Being, and castration. The author contends that traumatic ethics for the modern subject transcends one’s usual notion of knowledge, as the modern subject’s relation to itself implicates its assumption of responsibility for its truth, whose origin in time is unknown to thought. Finally, the argument asserts that the clinical discourses on trauma operate to technologically and ontically conceal the ontological, which is a mode of disclosure for the modern subject and its originary source in trauma.


A public presentation will follow in July.



Kareen Ror Malone- Psychology

Christopher Aanstoos – Psychology

Hugh Crawford- Georgia Institute of Technology- School of Literature, Communication & Culture

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