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Trauma-Informed Media Research and Creation

I employ a feminist, post-colonial and trauma-informed framework in research on torture, immigration and the global refugee crisis. I was awarded funding to produce TV segments (1996–99) exploring mental illness and a grant (FSU 2004) to document survivors of torture and persecution (Survivors 2004–21), which became an oral history project. In both projects, trauma theory guided our team to serve as witnesses to survivors’ stories, validating their efforts to make sense of their ‘de-worlding’ experiences. A co-created symposium and special issue (Public 2003) explored the links between trauma and culture in writing and art work, including my hybrid essay “I be in the show”. Subsequent work on these topics includes a (funded) Hypermigration game project created with refugee youth in Toronto (InTensions 2016) and an article on the media’s role in the global refugee crisis (CRP 2018).


Survivors of Torture and Persecution Oral History Project, Florida Centre for Survivors of Torture, Clearwater, FL 2004-2021. Director, Paula Gardner with support from Florida State University media students Malia Brucker, Ronny Khalil, with thanks to all of our student researchers


For other scholarship on trauma please see:

Gardner, P. & Reeves, C. (Eds.) (2014). Public: Art, Ideas, Culture, No. 49. Special Issue: “Trauma as Cultural Phenomenon”. With co-editor, proposed, solicited, organized peer-review for, selected, and co-edited this special issue. Significant editorial input on 4 of 9 articles (one of which I authored).