Norwegian version
Linda Sandbæk

Linda Sandbæk


In my Ph.D. work, I explore how traumatic experiences are portrayed in literature, archive, and psychoanalysis – and how these texts can enrich our understanding of trauma on an individual and a societal level. A key question in psychology - which literature also deals with - is how it might be possible to find words despite the tendency of trauma towards repression, dissociation, and silencing. By studying fictional texts and testimonies from trauma survivors, the project seeks to shed light on the complexities of trauma and open up new questions - and potential answers – on how we can approach the gap between experience and language. The texts included in the study so far are two novels, "The Faculty of Dreams" by Sara Stridsberg and "A Girl's Story" by Annie Ernaux, plus a shorter text, "Antigona Gonzales" by Sara Uribe. The latter is read in dialogue with a personal archive created by the sister of one of the many victims of enforced disappearance in Colombia. The theoretical basis is psychoanalytic trauma theory and testimony theory (Shoshana Felman and Cathy Caruth are front figures here). The texts have been selected because they each, in their way, represent how the muted and impossible might still find words and be conveyed. When choosing them, I have envisioned a continuum from the less severe to the more severe traumas and from the individual to the collective traumas. Supervisors for the project are professors Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad at OsloMet and Siri Erika Gullestad at the University of Oslo.

Before starting my Ph.D. project at Oslo Metropolitan University in 2021, I worked with psychotherapy and counseling, primarily within public mental health care. I graduated as a psychologist from the University of Oslo in 2007 and have further specialization in clinical adult psychology, emphasizing psychoanalysis. I also write fiction myself and debuted in 2022 with a short story in an anthology for children's literature "Andre Boller. Nye stemmer i barnelitteraturen".

Scientific publications

Sandbæk, Linda (2022). Om å benevne det unevnelige – «Sommeren 58» av Annie Ernaux og psykoanalytisk traumeteori. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening . Vol. 59.

Sandbæk, Linda (2022). The relationship between literature and psychoanalysis: reflections on object relations theory, researcher's subjectivity, and transference in psychoanalytic literary criticism. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review .

These publications are obtained from Cristin. The list may be incomplete