Wed 24 Mar, 2010 09:47 am
I am a librarian struggling to help a student writing on the trauma of Indian Residential Schools, applying theories of Julia Kristeva. Everything I read on her is either infested with social science jargon or made relative to other theorists. The student already has an excellent grasp of the history of colonialism in North America, the evolution of Residential Schools, and the trauma they caused. I simply can't find something basic about Kristeva that doesn't require understanding twenty other theorists.
Julia Kristeva has had many books and essays published in the last forty years. She is a psychoanalyst, but has written on a wide range of subjects from literary criticism to politics. She has written about both individual trauma and "collective trauma." It is not surprising that critiques of her theories use the jargon of modern sociology. Her writing seems very esoteric.
Jim Bruce wrote:
.... I simply can't find something basic about Kristeva that doesn't require understanding twenty other theorists.
Star with this book - Julia Kristeva has her own chapter, # 3:
You can't understand all those theories because they're nonsense to begin with. Why does the student want to write about Indian schools using such an approach? If a college professor suggested it, he should have provided a bibliography. Kristeva herself says her work (written in French) is mistranslated into English, and therefore misunderstood (references to her interviews available on her wikipedia pages) which may well be true, since it's much easier to write nonsense in French than it is in English. Start with the Sokal book anyway - a bestseller in both the original French and the English editions.