Ignoring Nina: Avoidance and denial in Pope, Poliakoff, Parker, Boynes, and Hudson (2009)

Rachel E. Goldsmith, Ross E. Cheit, Mary E. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


H. G. Pope, M. B. Poliakoff, M. P. Parker, M. Boynes, and J. I. Hudson's (this issue) response neglects the research and literary evidence supporting the existence of dissociative amnesia in response to trauma. After the authors acknowledged that the example of Nina fulfilled their criteria for a literary representation of this phenomenon before the year 1800 (A. Pettus, 2008), they did not publish an addendum or retraction of their 2007 article and its conclusions and have disregarded the example in their present response. Pope et al. exhibit additional weaknesses in their failure to address the contest's methodological flaws, in their absence of an explanation as to why their criteria for dissociative amnesia differ from those of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.), and in their illogical reasoning and conclusions concerning research studies on dissociative amnesia. Pope et al.'s response indicates that the authors do not comprehend the importance of attending to the ways in which cultural contexts impact representations of trauma and subsequent symptoms. Such cultural influences not only are likely to influence literary depictions of dissociative amnesia but also may relate to the biases and questionable methods that Pope et al. demonstrate in their original article and present response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-260
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Dissociative amnesia
  • Literature
  • Memory
  • Trauma


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