Ancestral selfies and historical traumas: who do you feel you are?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The potential for ‘historical trauma’ is deeply rooted within the evolved human mind, which constructs its reality through narrative in the shape of personally and culturally relevant stories. From its roots within psychoanalytic theory and practice and through its clear links with infant attachment, historical trauma can be theoretically linked with stress biology and the concept of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Via this trajectory, it has the potential to become more commonly drawn upon in the field of public health, despite inconclusive attempts to link it to social epigenetics. It is proposed that when the historical trauma narrative invades family histories via negative experiences that have deeply impacted upon the lives of ancestors, descendants may be drawn to ‘traumatic reenactment’ through fantasy. This is explored with reference to my own recently published novel, examining its content through the perspective of the ‘psychic work’ it represents with respect to reconciling the self to the traumatic experiences of ancestors.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021


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