Tania Love Abramson, MFA and Dr. Paul R. Abramson are the authors of this disquisition.
Tania Love Abramson, MFA, is a Lecturer in the Honors Collegium at UCLA. She is a conceptually focused visual artist, lecturer, writer/poet, videographer, and performer, and a survivor of chronic childhood sexual abuse (50yrslater.com). Drawing on her life story, her art delves into the elusive psychological manifestations of trauma, and the potential for resilience in its aftermath (tanialoveabramson.com). Tania lectures internationally and in the US, and is the author of three books, the first of which is Shame and the Eternal Abyss. This book explores the dual experiences of shame and dissociation through Tania’s art and poetic commentary. Next, she produced two small volumes, Concern and Truth Lies, the first in a series of books loosely tied together by ambiguous words and experiences. Each are obliquely crafted narratives in drawings, photographs and poetic structure. Both, and the others to follow, emanate from personal stories, yet enigmatically transcend to the universal.
Tania is currently working on a book chapter on Art & Trauma for Oxford University Press, and a graphic memoir that combines drawings, poetry and prose. She is also the Art Editor of the poetry and art journal BREATHE, and a sporadic contributor to her blog (50yrslater.com), and her Twitter and Instagram pages.
Brief comments from some of Tania’s lectures are listed below:
Thank you so much, this was really a treat, what an interesting, rich and vivid presentation! And your precise, crafted way of phrasing things made it even an aesthetic experience in itself. I could tell from the concentration and silence in the room that people were really focused and listening with full attention. I also very much liked the balance between the academic perspective versus the focus on art and the layer of personal experiences. THANKS!
– Dr. Bernet Elzinga, Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Program on Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Leiden University (2019)
We owe you a big thanks for a riveting presentation.
– Susan Karamanian, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies, George Washington Law School (2016)
Thank you so much for the privilege of having you speak on our campus! Today was very powerful, and I’ve already received emails from students thanking us for hosting your wonderful talk (an unusual move in my experience).
– Sarah Fine, Co-President, Crime Victims Rights Alliance, Lewis & Clark Law School. (2017)
Your talk was so inspirational for all of us. You did it so well with naturalizing the way you spoke about it. My thought is that you left them [female trauma patients at Janus, a rehabilitative treatment facility in Reykjavik, Iceland] with – if she can do it, so can I. And the way you included your story, incorporating the relevant statistics, plus your beautiful art made it easier to see and take in. As you know, sometimes pictures speak louder than words.
– Sigríður Björnsdóttir, Co-Founder of Blatt afram, Reykjavik, Iceland. [Blatt afram is the leading child sexual abuse prevention organization in Iceland] (2017)
Thank you so much for your visit to Leiden! It was equally inspiring to me, the way you have been able to translate your feeling and ideas into art is both impressive and beautiful.
– Dr. Bernet Elzinga, Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Program on Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Leiden University (2017)
I was both moved and inspired!
– Meg Garvin, J.D., Executive Director, National Crime Victim’s Law Institute, Portland, Oregon. (2017)
It was an honor and very moving to meet you and hear your story.
– Joan Meier, J.D., Legal Director, Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, Washington, D.C. (2016)
Tania did a large public presentation [at George Washington Law School] which was a very moving and stimulating, and very well received – and a more intimate one in my Child, Family & State class later the same day…I found Tania’s painting so powerful I used some in a presentation of my own (with permission of course).
– Catherine Ross, J.D., Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School (2016)
Paul R. Abramson is a professor of psychology at UCLA. His books on sexuality transfigure conventional wisdom while offering timeless escape from ideologues and bigots. Classic examples include With Pleasure: Thoughts on the nature of human sexuality; Sexual Rights in America: The ninth amendment and the pursuit of happiness; Romance in the Ivory Tower: The rights and liberty of conscience; Sex Appeal: Six ethical principles of the 21st century; and Screwing Around with Sex: Essays, indictments, anecdotes, and asides.
Paul’s books on sexual trauma (Sarah: A sexual biography and A House Divided: Suspicions of mother-daughter incest) are, alternatively, daunting case studies that delve deeply into the torments and psychological residuum of incest and sexual abuse, as well as the mercurial infrastructure of child sexual abuse accusations.
For the past forty years Paul has been an expert witness in criminal. civil and constitutionally relevant litigation involving cases of rape, incest, child sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, clergy sexual abuse, murder/rape and so forth. Paul has also been an expert witness in civil litigation involving survivors of tragic accidents, the sole survivor of the first car in the Metrolink Train tragedy in Chatsworth, California for example. Other cases have involved an exploding gas tank that took the lives of three young siblings (a fourth young sibling survived); a hit and run traffic accident that killed a mother (while her 5-yr-old watched from the back seat); the severed leg of a young motorcyclist; and so on. Post-traumatic stress disorder figured prominently in all of these cases.
Paul’s art is evident in two domains: his music (Crying 4 Kafka) and his drawings, the latter of which have illustrated several books. The best overview of Paul’s art – and the synergy between his music, drawings, expert witness cases, and the legacy of a violently abusive upbringing – is Erika Blair’s book The Sanctity of Rhyme: The Metaphysics of Crying 4 Kafka in Prose and Verse.
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