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Cathy Caruth

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Cathy Caruth (born 1955) is Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University and is appointed in the departments of English and Comparative Literature. She taught previously at Yale and at Emory University, where she helped build the Department of Comparative Literature.

She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1988.


She is the author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud (Johns Hopkins UP, 1991) and Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History (Johns Hopkins UP, 1996); she is also editor of Trauma: Explorations in Memory (Johns Hopkins UP, 1995) and with Deborash Esch of Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing (Rutgers University Press, 1995). Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. describes her as “one of the most innovative scholars on what we call trauma, and on our ways of perceiving and conceptualizing that still mysterious phenomenon.” For a good discussion of both Caruth's work on trauma theory see Roger Luckhurst, The Trauma Question, and Shoshana Felman, The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 173–182, n.3.

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