Anna Menyhért‘s research centers around two main areas, trauma studies, in both contemporary and historical contexts, from a transdisciplinary perspective; and women’s writing in a cultural studies and literary history framework.
Currently she is finishing a book project entitled Trauma in the Digital Age: The Transmission, Representation, and Processing of Trauma on Social Media (De Gruyter). She studies how social media platforms shape trauma-related communication according to their own affordances; how traumatic content reaches users; how digital bystanders act; and how, at the same time, social media platforms and online communities can become platforms for trauma processing. Her case studies include the analysis of Holocaust-related Facebook groups; migratory trauma and its political background in Hungarian migrants’ blogs; the contemporary cultural and political implications of the historical trauma of the Treaty of Trianon, and the aftermath of World War I as transmitted and revived via YouTube; the resilience of trauma victims in connection with the #MeToo campaign on Twitter; digital bystanders in cyberbullying on Instagram and Facebook as compared to bystanders of the Holocaust as a historical and transgenerational trauma.
Her project at the Democracy Institute plans to focus on historical trauma studies, and on contemporary trauma policy. She analyses the long-term impact of trauma, looking at how unprocessed traumas hinder social development. Traumatized communities lack the skills to establish/maintain/sustain democratic structures, and thus in order to be open and resilient, such societies need to have a high level of trauma-awareness. This awareness can lead to trauma-informed policy making in several areas (education, health care, justice), which in turn can help prevent further traumatization.