Hosted by the Psychology and the Other Institute at Lesley University
The Problematic of Well-Being in Contemporary Life: A Discussion of Two New Research Works by Sam Binkley and Mari RutiSam Binkley Mari RutiFebruary 17, 2014Mari Ruti will discuss The Call of Character: Living a LIfe Worth Living (Columbia University Press, 2013)Mari Ruti is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of TorontoShould we feel inadequate when we fail to be healthy, balanced, and well-adjusted? Is it realistic or even desirable to strive for such an existential equilibrium? Condemning our current cultural obsession with cheerfulness and "positive thinking," Mari Ruti calls for a resurrection of character that honors our more eccentric frequencies and argues that sometimes a tormented and anxiety-ridden life can also be rewarding.Sam Binkley will discuss Happiness as Enterprise: an Essay on Neoliberal LIfe (Suny Press, 2014)Sam Binkley is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Emerson College, BostonThis book examines the contemporary discourse on happiness through the lens of a theory of neoliberal govern mentality -- a dynamic perspective derived from the work of Michel Foucault. It provides a novel account of the current explosion of interest in happiness, driven by the influential new field of "positive psychology." Happiness, it is claimed, represents a new development in the technologies of regulation and control unique to the neoliberal movement.The Conscious and Unconscious Art of Scholarship: The Visions and Archives that Inspire a HistorianSusannah HeschelModerator: Lynne Layton, Massachusetts Institute for PsychoanalysisTuesday, March 11, 2014. 7:30 pm."My scholarship as a historian of religious thought has taken me in many directions. Initially, as a graduate student, I wrote on feminist theology, and then wrote a book on a 19th century Jewish historian, Abraham Geiger, who was a maverick scholar in his day, overturning conventional views of Jesus, the Qur-an, and the Talmud. My next book grew out of detective work: through intensive work in dozens of archives in Germany, Scandinavia, and the United States, I recreated the history of an unknown Nazi propaganda institute that was financed by the Protestant church and run by professors of theology, bishops, pastors, and students. At the present time, I am writing the history of European Jewish scholarship on Islam from the 1830's to the 1930s, a study that encompasses issues of orientalism, colonialism, philology, and racial theory. Throughout my work, I have been inspired by feminist theory and poststructuralist readings of texts, often with a psychoanalytic angle of vision. Why I have chosen my topics and my methods of analysis is a questions I often ask myself: what emotions motivate a study of Nazis? Why am I drawn to the work of scholars who challenge the status quo? What is the vision that guides me as a historian through the arcane labyrinths of tedious archival research?"Present Culture and Psyche: A Personal JourneySudhir Kakar, Ph.D.Discussant: Alfred Margulies, M.D.Moderator: Kenneth Reich, Ed.D.April 19th, 2014Dr. Kakar, joining us from Goa, India, is a leading figure in the fields of psychoanalysis, cultural psychology, and the psychology of religion, as well as a prolific author. He will speak on how a spiritual perspective has come to enrich the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.Dr. Margulies is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Associate Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge health Alliance; Training and Supervising Analyst, psychoanalytic Institute of New England.Dr. Reich is Co-Chair of the Committee for International Relations of the Division of Psychoanalysis and faculty at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England and the Psychoanalytic Family and Couples Institute of New England.
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