The following paper will use the civil wars of Spain and Northern Ireland as two case studies for the analysis of the individual expression of trauma. I will establish the historical contexts of the two wars, followed by an examination and comparison of the collective and individual silences and the memorialization of the civil wars. Afterwards, I will analyze the effects of trauma on the individual expression of the civil wars. Finally I will discuss the limitations of the archives. Through the comparative study of two civil wars and the different methods of memorialization and representation, an argument may be made that in order to discuss an individual’s traumatic experience he or she may use the polyphonic discourse thereby allowing the speaker to both represent his or her experiences as well as begin to process any past trauma.
The study finds unique changes in the Creole’s relationship with the state’s African American population, and traces the development of this change over the course of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The essay is an illustration of the roll of Civil Religion in American Reconstruction history.
James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History at Princeton University, the 2000 Jefferson Lecturer in Humanities, and was 2003 president of the American Historical Association. America's leading historian of the Civil War, he won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for "Battle Cry of Freedom," which was a New York Times best seller. Part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded April 1, 2009.