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November 14, 2008, 7:00 PM

Is Freud Dead?: The Relevance of Freud's Theory of Group Psychology in Today's World

Participants: Mark Edmundson (moderator), Ken Eisold, Jim Hopkins, Bennett Markel, Jane McAdam Freud

Ours is a moment preoccupied to the point of obsession by politics. We've been fascinated by the recent election and by events that are unfolding on the global stage. In trying to understand our current state, and perhaps reflect on our destiny, we've turned to political thinkers and writers on economics and the social sciences. But we haven't been inclined to listen much to Freud or to psychoanalysis. Freud spent the second half of his career thinking about groups—"Civilization and Its Discontents" and "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" are two salient instances of such thinking, and there are several others. Does it make sense to consult Freud the political thinker now? Does he have as much to teach us about public life as he does about the dynamics of the interior world? This roundtable will examine the potential role that psychoanalytic thinking might have in coming to terms with the polis.

Mark Edmundson is NEH/Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor of Romantic Poetry and Literary Theory at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Why Read?, Teacher and Towards Reading Freud: Self-Creation in Milton, Wordsworth, Emerson and Sigumnd Freud. He is most recent work, The Death of Sigmund Freud, is about Freud's escape from Vienna in 1938.

Ken Eisold is a practicing psychoanalyst and organizational consultant. He is Past-President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, and a former Director of the Organizational Program at the William Alanson White Institute, where he currently teaches, supervises and serves as Chair of the Fellows. For several years he directed the A. K. Rice Institute's National Conference.

Jim Hopkins has been Lecturer in Philosophy at Lincoln College Oxford, Fellow and Director of Studies at King's College Cambridge, Reader in Philosophy at King's College London, and Kohut Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. Together with Richard Wollheim he edited Philosophical Essays on Freud, recently reprinted by Cambridge University Press. With Anthony Savile he edited Psychoanalysis, Mind, and Art. His most recent articles on Freud and group psychology are "Evolution, Emotion, and Conflict", in Psychoanalytic Knowledge, and "Conscience and Conflict: Darwin, Freud, and the Origins of Human Aggression" in Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality.

Bennett Markel is a practicing psychoanalyst in Berkeley, California, with a long-time interest in groups and group psychology. He studied English literature as an undergraduate at Yale University in the 1950s, at the height of New Criticism, which treated literary work in the way a psychoanalyst might approach a patient.

Jane McAdam Freud is a multidisciplinary artist working in the medium of 2D, 3D, and 4D encompassing drawing, sculpture and film. She is the daughter of Lucian Freud and the great granddaughter of Sigmund Freud. McAdam Freud studied at the Central School (Central St. Martins) and the Royal College of Art in London, and also won the British Art Medal scholarship in Rome, where she proceeded to study sculpture for 3 years. Representation in National and International public collections include the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Berlin State Museum, Carnegie Museum and the National Gallery of Greece and the National Gallery (archives) London.


Discussion Board

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Philoctetes says:
Simply click on the video icon above and you can view the roundtable.
Rob Sica says:
Many thanks!

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