Explorations of the Waning of the Anthropocene
Presented by Ladson Hinton
We will explore the difficulties of our age, reflecting upon the dimensions of its flaws and future. Utilizing the thought of Wolfgang Giegerich and Bernard Stiegler and others, we will consider the dilemmas that we face. Is this the end of the Anthropocene, of our own era? What attitudes might be most helpful in the presence of the horizon of uncertainty that we share? Readings will be sent to participants a month prior to the seminar.
Shame and Responsibility in a Neoliberal World
Presented by Sharon R. Green
Human mortality is the ultimate limit to temporality. Nachträglichkeit is a dynamic in which memories are in constant temporal flux, with meaning always deferred into some indefinite future, with no final ground or presence. Eluding our conscious control and desire for mastery, this process generates anxiety and shame. Through Nachträglichkeit, it becomes possible to take responsibility – not just for present and future actions – but also for past actions. This entails facing the shame of our existential vulnerability and lack. Only through assuming full responsibility for our actions, can we live an ethical life. In our contemporary neoliberal world, the value of shame has been forgotten with the ever-increasing pressures of consumerism and the digitalization of inter-personal communication. With this comes a loss of responsibility. We will be exploring these themes using clinical case material along with readings that will be sent to participants in advance.
What has love got to do with it? Neighborly love in psychoanalytic contexts.
Presented by Robin McCoy Brooks
Using Freud’s original notion of the neighborly love Nebenmensch as a background, I will focus on contemporary notions of the neighbor and it applications in psychoanalytic practice. Specifically, I will follow tendrils of Žižek’s qua Lacan and Eric Santner’s contemporary reflections on this topic. We will review Slavoj Žižek’s notion of the “revolutionary act” and its relevance in psychoanalytic thought and practice. Revolution in the context of subject formation can only emerge when the realities of what concerns us in our everyday lives becomes radically penetrated by destabilizing threat to what we deeply care about becoming the very site of the ethical relation and the political possibility. Such ruptures can violently uproot our existing relations to psychoanalytic theories of mind, to what we thought our aims were and to how we subsequently practice. The participant will receive supplemental materials in advance of the seminar.
‘Dreaming’ for the Culture – Awakening Truth Amidst Personal & Collective Despair & Denial
Presented by Kenneth Kimmel
Dreams [—asleep or awake–] are the manifestation of what cannot be thought, what is too disturbing and painful to ‘dream alone.’ Wilfred Bion
Traumatic moments in world history give rise to creative works often shaped through shared anguish and faith. The revelations of artists, philosophers or visionaries appear from a different reality as expressions of profound truth that force the world to question itself. I think of them as “cultural” translations of dreaming, a concept that Bion first envisioned at the intersubjective, relational level. Bion’s ‘transformations in dreaming’ brings unconscious work forward to deconstruct what he called hallucinosis—those states of concrete thinking, hopelessness, and denial of unbearable memories. In a broader vein I envision the creative work of Cultural ‘Dreaming’ as shattering or disruptive to societies’ violent, ‘totalizing’ illusions. At great personal sacrifice rare ‘authors’ endeavor through their ‘works of truth’ to redeem the victimized souls of past generations, while opening the flow of time towards a vision of the future. Similarly, we as therapists enter the survivor’s inner world as enduring presences and witnesses. In personal and collective dreaming something new comes into the world–après coup—transforming and re-inventing history–in retrospect. These ideas will take shape through PowerPoint lecture and discussion of contemporary and historical illustrations, located in cases of trans-generational trauma, classic literature, and avant-garde art.