‘Ominous Transitions’ – Hauntings and Specters in the Social and Political Collective

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The tone of collective discourse has rapidly degenerated, damaging the forms and rituals that give coherence to our lives, cultures and professional disciplines contributing to a sense of communal and global unrest. In these intimate Saturday morning seminars our desire is to nourish a spirit of reflection rather than repeating the sounds of panic and alarm, or pretend hopes. Stepping back from the present situation, we will reflect on the current moment through trans-disciplinary lenses including philosophy, theology, history, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, and anthropology. Together we will seek new perspectives that may help us move into an open future.

Continuing the theme of Ominous Transitions, the New School is offering a series of four seminars to extend the discussion generated by Dr. Alexander Hinton’s presentation on February 1st: The Extremist: From Cambodia’s Killing Fields To Charlottesville, USA. This series of Ominous Transitions seminars will center around themes of haunting and specters that linger in the social and political collective.  Each seminar will focus on a particular theme; participants will be provided with readings prior to each meeting.

Voids and Xenophobic Fears – March 21, 2020

Presented by Ladson Hinton

Specters and Xenophobic Fears – April 18, 2020

Presented by Tony Stanton and Lane Gerber

Hauntings and the “Thing” of Slavery – May 16, 2020

Presented by Lisa Whitsitt and Mylor Treneer

“Ghostly Matters:” Race, Capitalism, and Technologies of Violence – June 13, 2020

Presented by Mylor Treneer and Nicole Torres

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Past Events

‘Ominous Transitions’ – The Extremist: From Cambodia’s Killing Fields To Charlottesville, USA

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Presented by Dr Alexander Hinton,
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
9:00 am – 1:00 pm (Registration 8:30 am – 9:00 am)

In March 2016, award-winning anthropologist Alex Hinton, faced off with a genocidal extremist, Pol Pot’s “Brother Number Two,” while serving as an expert witness at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. A year and a half later, white power extremists wreaked havoc in the streets of Charlottesville. Professor Hinton’s talk will bring these two events into a conversation to answer the question asked about both: why? — as well the question that began to be asked in the U.S., could it happen here? In each situation, key issues of our time – truth and denial, human dignity, hate, moral choice, and extremism – were at stake.

Can the Earth Be sacred once again?

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An evening seminar with Sean McGrath, PhD
7-9 pm on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
The Colman Building
811 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

We live in the grip of a form of anxiety unknown to Freud, Jung, and Lacan. It is not anxiety over the self, but anxiety over the world without which there would be no selves to worry about. Nature has become an issue for us, whether it be in the form of climate change, mass extinction, or the disturbing possibility that nature is over. At the same time, we despair for humanity: there appears to be no way to move from our knowledge of the current precarious state of the earth to a practice and politics that would rectify it. The despair itself immobilizes us and renders us powerless to make even the smallest efforts toward solutions. In this seminar, we will discuss the ecological anxiety of our present age and look for ways to unfreeze eco-despair by generating language to articulate our hopes and fears. We will explore in some detail the religious quality of the ecological crisis. In the end, we will ask the question: given the Anthropocene, given the Sixth Great Extinction, given the rise of the technosphere, can the earth be sacred once again?

The New School for Analytical Psychology invites you to attend our four-month seminar series:

Ominous Transitions:
Ongoing Reflections on