This article starts by engaging in a dialogue with the most relevant postcolonial emendations to trauma theory, addressed to both its aporetic and its therapeutic trends, and it goes on to reflect on the state of the decolonizing trauma theory project, critically examining the motivations behind it as well as some of the problems it still encounters, like the risk of objectification and revictimization of postcolonial peoples, the blurring of their trauma particularities, and the appropriation of their experience. Then, it proposes an alternative understanding of postcolonial trauma theory as a contact zone where trauma criticism and the postcolony are interrelated and mutually transformed, and where unequal power relations are also attended to. Acknowledging the postcolony as a site of theory production rather than the object of external definition, it proceeds to analyze Edwidge Danticat’s short story cycle Claire of the Sea Light
: its strategic representation of grief—which she achieves through the short story cycle structure and overall in-betweenness and ambivalence in symbols and characterization—puts Haitians on the critical map of trauma, fighting invisibility and oblivion, but it simultaneously resists an appropriation of Haitian experience by rejecting any monolithic view on Haiti and refusing to fit into a predetermined template.
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