Why War? A Psychoanalytic Enquiry 08 DecemberDec 2023 06:30pm - 08:30pm

In the most recent issue of the London Review of Books, Jacqueline Rose writes of the conflict in Israel/Gaza that there is a need to bring psychoanalytic understanding to the negotiating table.


One thing seems clear. None of this will just disappear if we ignore it. You cannot dream the unconscious away.” (J.Rose,‘You made me do it’: Jacqueline Rose on violence and its origins, LRB vol.45 No.23, 30 November 2023).


FLi chooses not to ignore it.


Join us in responding on December 8th, alongside John O'Donoghue, Anouchka Grose, and Jerry Fromm


With reflective remarks by John O'Donoghue, Anouchka Grose, and Jerry Fromm (bios below), this seminar offers a conversation about the psychical propensity for aggression in people, the disposition to violence and cruelty that hangs over groups, and the forces that render them latent and sublimated, especially at this extremely worrying time of global warring and factionalism. One of the gifts of psychoanalysis is the room it makes for aggressivity as a component feature of human subjectivity and the important ways this is sublimated. Taking Freud’s exchange of letters with Einstein “Why War?” and the essays “Thoughts for the Time on War and Death” and “Civilisation and its Discontents,” we will explore what psychoanalysis offers at this very sensitive time.


Speaker Biographies


John O’Donoghue is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist working for Spirasi, The Centre of Victims of Torture in Dublin. He has also worked in the field of addiction and homelessness. John is currently working on a PhD at Maynooth University exploring philosophical ethics and psychoanalysis. He is a member of APPI.


Anouchka Grose is a British-Australian Lacanian psychoanalyst and writer. She is a member of The Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (CFAR), where she lectures. Her journalism has been published by The Guardian, The Independent, and her short stories have appeared in Granta Magazine & The Erotic Review. Her book is an edited collection titled Hysteria Today (Karnac: 2016) and From Anxiety to Zoolander: Notes from Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2018).


Jerry Fromm spent his clinical career at the Austen Riggs Center where he directed the Erikson Institute for many years. This brought him into conversations with people from many different disciplines, the goals of which were learning in the space of our overlapping interests. Some of that learning is the subject of Jerry’s recent book, Traveling through Time: How Trauma Plays Itself out in Families, Organizations and Society. As director of the Erikson Institute, Jerry co-founded and is now the president of the International Dialogue Initiative which works to bring a psychological understanding to societal conflict. Jerry’s former role as director of Riggs’ therapeutic community program kindled his interest in organizational dynamics and led him to a series of roles, including Board president of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, Board president of the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems, director of CSGSS’s Group Relations Conferences, and founder of the Erikson Institute Organizational Consultation Service. Jerry has taught and consulted to a number of psychoanalytic institutes across the US, Including PINC.

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