Emotional Public: <i>Treme</i> as Post-Katrina Trauma Narrative
Keywords: Treme, cultural trauma, Hurricane Katrina, television narrative, emotional public sphere
AbstractCultural traumas are social, discursive and narrative processes where traumatic events, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and their memories are described and interpreted. In fiction, in this case in HBO’s drama series Treme (2010-2013), trauma-related experiences are given meaning through narration, and in this mediation process collective memories are constructed. In this article, I analyze the ways in which the narration of Treme represents loss and remembering. I argue that by emphasizing sentimental nostalgia and the emotional reactions of the characters, the narration aims to create sympathy and empathy in the viewers, and in this way the drama series creates an emotional public sphere for the discussions over the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans.