Living in Social and Political Crisis

Living in Social and Political Crisis


Collected here are articles, links and presentations related to the course 'Living in Social and Political Crisis', at the

University of New York, Prague, but is open for all curious about the psyche to use and explore. All material has been

taken from the public domain and is meant for purely non-profit purposes.This page was created by Joseph Dodds in January 2007.


14. Remember, repeating and working through

Plan for Remaining Classes


lecture 1 William Blake ancient-of-days

1. Introduction: why is the world in such a mess?

Required reading for next class:

Joseph Dodds (2011) Psychoanalysis and Ecology at the Edge of Chaos: chapter 1 and chapters 4 and 5.

Reflect on the environmental crisis and your own relationship with nature. Make

sure you understand the different types of 'defence mechanism' and think how they

operate in various ways in your life.

Recommended reading: Deborah Winter and Susan Koger: The Psychology of Environmental Problems. Defence Mechanisms: 1 and 2. Richard Koenigsberg: Making Conscious the Unconscious in Social Reality: The Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Culture (2005 - online book). Laplanche and Pontalis: The Language of Psychoanalysis. Susan Budd (ed): Introducing Psychoanalysis. Jean-Michel Quinodoz: Reading Freud. Freud Study Guides: Papers on Metapsychology. On Narcissism: An Introduction. Slavoj Zizek: Censorship Today: Violence, or Ecology as a New Opium of the Masses1 and 2 (2008) and VIDEO version (2007).




2. Psychology of Environmental Crisis

Exploring psychological aspects of ecological crisis and defences against anxienty in the social field

in the context of the environment and climate change. Required Reading: Dodds: Chapter 6 and 7

Carbon conversations, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Freud Reader Psychoanalysis and Society Reader

RECOMMENDED READING: Slavoj Zizek: Ecology Without Nature (2006 VIDEO). Georg Marshall: The Psychology of Denial: Our failure to act against climate change (2001). Rosemary Randall: A new climate for psychotherapy? (2005). Ecopsychology. Theodore Roszak: Awakening The Ecological Unconscious. Vaclav Klaus: ‘Environmentalism As Bad As Communism’. Georg Monbiot: Climate Change – a crisis of collective denial?. Climate Change Denial website. Gregory Bateson: Steps Towards and Ecology of Mind, Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. Ecology Without Nature. Gerry Canavan: Thoughts on Zizecology 1 and 2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Joseph Mishan: Psychoanalysis and environmentalism: First thoughts. Mark B. Borg, Jr: Psychoanalytic Pure War: Interactions with the Post-Apocalyptic Unconscious. Timothy Morton: Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (2007).



3. Ecopsychology

Ecopsychology, John Scull: Ecopsychology - Where does it fit in psychology?, BBC: Green Spaces Improve Health,

Theodore Roszak Awakening The Ecological Unconscious: Ecopsychology: healing our alienation from the rest of Creation

Theodore Roszak: Ecopsychology: Eight Principles, Mary-Jayne Rust: Climate on the Couch, Mary-Jayne Rust: Other online writings


Why War?

4. Why war? Understanding hatred and aggression

Required Reading: Why War? A Correspondance Between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud (Freud Reader) or

Thoughts for the Times on War and Death (Freud Reader)

Recommended Reading: 'Why War? Today' Commentary on the Freud-Einstein Correspondance on War. Wiki: Aggression:

Konrad Lorenz: 'On Aggression' book summary, Herbert Marcuse: Aggressiveness in Advanced Industrial Society (1967),

Universitity of Plymouth: Approaches to the Study of Aggression, Ed Cairns: War and Peace (The Psychologist, June 2001)

Social Psychology: aggression and violence, Terry Birchmore: The Psychodynamics of Scapegoating, Persecution, Bullying (2003).

Bandura: Transmission of Aggression Through Imitation of Aggressive Models (1961), Le Bon: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1896)

Symposium on the Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis (Maslow, Miller, Bateson et al. 1941).



5. Trauma

TEXT: Andrzej Werbart: Our Need of Taboo: Pictures of violence and mourning difficulties, PTSD Criteria and Diagnosis

Debora MacKenzie: Trauma of war hits troops years later (New Scientist August 2005), Acute Stress Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

University of Plymouth, Psychology Learning Materials: Coping with Stress, False Memory Syndrome Foundation (wiki),

Daniel J. Burdick: The Neurobiology of Fear: Emotional Memory and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (2001),

Duke University: How Brain Gives Special Resonance To Emotional Memories (Science Daily, 2004),

J. Douglas Bremner: The Lasting Effects of Psychological Trauma on Memory and the Hippocampus (2002),

J Bremner: The Invisible Epidemic: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Memory and the Brain. J Trauma Dissociation 2005; 6(2):51-68.

Axmacher N, Do Lam ATA, Kessler H and Fell J (2010) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Natural memory beyond the storage model: repression, trauma, and the construction of a personal past


nazism totalitarianism and the frankfurt school

Groups and Social Influence

6. Hitler, Nazism and The lure of dictatorship

Walter Langer: A Psychologial Profile of Adolph Hitler, Stills and text from Nazi Film The Eternal Jew,

Reicher & Haslam: Tyranny Revisited: Groups, Psychological Well-being and the Health of Societies (The Psychologist, March 2006),

Walker & Andrade: Conformity in the Asch task as a function of age (Journal of Social Psychology, 1996), Stanford Prison Study,

Authority (summary of various experiments), Stanley Milgram's Obediance Experiment, and here,

Stanley Milgram: The Perils of Obediance (1974), RADIO: Psychoanalysis and Democracy (2002),

Gordon Lawrence: The Presence of Totalitarian States-Of-Mind in Institutions,

Wilhelm Reich: The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933) and in pictures, Toma Tomov: Psychoanalysis in a Post-Totalitarian Society

Eric Laurent: The name-of-the-father; Psychoanalysis and Democracy. Theodor Adorno: Negative Dialectics (1966),

Extracts from Freud, Adorno, Reich, Fromm and Marcuse: Freud and the Frankfurt School: Fascism and Communism.

VIDEO: Basic Instincts: The Science of Evil (2007), replication of Milgram's Obediance Shock



5. Marxism, Psychoanalysis and the Totalitarian Object

7. Communism, psychoanalysis and the totalitarian object

Czech and Eastern European experiences of Communism and the complicated relationship between Marxism and psychoanalysis.

REQUIRED READING: Sigmund Freud: Extracts of comments on Communism and Marxism. Rancour-Laferriere: The Mind of Stalin (extracts).

RECOMMENDED READING: Martin Miller: Freud and the Bolsheviks. Erich Fromm: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. Renata Salecl: The Spoils of Freedom: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and Ideology after the Fall of Socialism. George Frankl: The Social History of the Unconscious: A Psychoanalysis of Society. LINKS: Peter Myers: Laura Engelstein: The Political Unconscious, Review of Martin Miller's 'Freud and the Bolsheviks. Frank Brenner: Intrepid Thought: psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union Part 1 and 2. George Snow: Freud vs. Marx: The Rise and Fall of Psychoanalysis in the Soviety Union. Peter Myers: Extracts from Miller's Freud and the Bolsheviks. Toma Tomov: Psychoanalysis in a Post-Totalitarian Society. Gordon Lawrence: The Presence of Totalitarian States-Of-Mind in Institutions. Slavoj Zizek: The Two Totalitarianisms (2005). Stalinism. Attempts to Escape the Logic of Capitalism: Political Tragedy of Vaclav Havel (1999). Steven Kreis: The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler. Daniel Rancour-Laferriere: The Mind of Stalin: His Favourite Aggressor. Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (Association, Journal, Conference)




mid term exam

8. Mid-term exam


9. Holocaust and the Fascist State of Mind

Psychology in the camps, from the point of view of the persecutors and victims including the psychodynamics of trauma and recent developments on the 'fascist state of mind'

Transmission of holocaust trauma - Kellerman.

REQUIRED READING: Christopher Bollas: The Fascist State of Mind. David Bell: ‘Anything is possible and everything is permitted’ Psychoanalytic Reflections on Hannah Arendt’s elements of Totalitarianism (2007)

Psychoanalysis and the Holocaust. And course: Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights,

The Jewish Holocaust, Holocaust, Hilsner Affair (blood libel in 20thC Bohemia),

Michael Dorland: Psychoanalysis After Auschwitz?: The "Deported Knowledge" of Anne-Lise Stern (2004),

Zdzislaw Jan Ryn: Long-Term Psychological Morbidity of Incarceration in Auschwitz (2000),

Stephanie Dodson: Never Shall I Forget That Night (2000), Holocaust Survival Syndrome, Holocaust Survivors Collected (2007),

Dr George Halasz: Children of Child Survivors of the Holocaust: Can Trauma be Transmitted Across the Generations? (2001).

Tamara Štajner-Popoviæ: Double Pact of Silence? Holocaust Survivors in Eastern Europe (2006).

Oxenberg: Mourning, Meaning, and Not Repeating: Dialogue Between Descendents of Holocaust Survivors and Descendents of Nazis (2003)

LINKS: Genocide of European Roma. The Terezin Children's Art and here. Children's Art and the Holocaust. Art and Auschwitz. Sverre Varvin: Trauma and the Posttraumatic Process: Reliving or Rememmbering? (2006). Andrzej Werbart: Our Need of Taboo: Pictures of violence and mourning difficulties. Margot Waddell and Gianna Williams: Reflections on Perverse: States of Mind (1991). Psychoanalysis and the Holocaust. Trevor Lube: Victims, Persecutors and the Healers at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Being in the Same Boat. Andrzej Werbart: Our Need of Taboo: Pictures of Violence and Mourning Difficulties. Janine Puget: The State of Threat and Psychoanalysis:  From the Uncanny that Structures to the Uncanny that Alienates. Mark B. Borg, Jr: Psychoanalytic Pure War: Interactions with the Post-Apocalyptic Unconscious.. Pdf presentations: David Gussak: Drawing Strength: The Art of the Holocaust 1 and 2



10. Psychology of Financial Crisis

Readings: Joseph Dodds (2010) Affective Finance - Psychoanalysis and the Economic Crisis

Joseph Dodds (2009) Artificial Group Psychodynamics: Emergence of the Collective

Film: Adam Curtis' The Century of the Self


11. Chaos and Complexity in the Psychology of Social Crisis

Social aspects of mental illness


12. Social aspects of mental illness

Tony David and Ivan Leudar: Is Hearing Voices a Sign of Mental Illness? (The Psychologist, 2001), Anti-Psychiaty, Rosenhan Experiment

David Pilgrim: Psychiatric Diagnosis: More Questions than Answers (The Psychologist, 2000), David Rosenhan: On Being Sane In Insane Places,

Eving Goffman, R.D Laing: Politics of Experience (ch.1 1967), Zbigniew Kotowicz: R. D Laing and the Paths of Anti-Psychiatry (1997),

Michel Foucault (+ texts), Deleuze & Guattari (+ texts), Coercive Treatment and Autonomy in Psychiatry, Survivor/Ex-Patient Movement,

Thomas Szasz: The Case Against Psychiatric Coercion (1997) + Mental Disorders are not Diseases (2000), Involuntary Commitment,

Summary of Szasz' 'The myth of mental illness' and 'The manufacture of madness', PsychRights, MindFreedom, Schizophrenia DSM,

Anorexia info, Em Farrel - Lost for Words: The Psychoanalysis of Anorexia and Bulimia (2000) (book and in Word), MadPride UK,

Jo Nash: Mutant Spiritualities in a Secular Age: The 'Fasting Body' (2006), Homophobia: 'Permissible' Prejudice (1999),

Sharon Farber: Ecstatic Stigmatics and Holy Anorexics (2003), Jules Bemporad: Prehistory of Anorexia Nervosa (1997),

Eating Disoders in the Czech Republic (2006)


Witches Hammer

13. The Witch Trials of Early Modern Europe

Witches Hammer: Extracts on the witch trials,

Terry Birchmore: The Psychodynamics of Scapegoating, Persecution, Bullying (2003). Summaries of Sigmund Freud's: A 17th Century Demonological Neurosis (1923) and The Uncanny (1925). Evelyn Heinemann: Witches, a Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Killing of Women (extracts). Lyndal Roper: Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft (extracts), Religion and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe (both Roper and Heinemann readings in the Psychoanalysis and Society Reader)

FILM:Vaclav Kaplicky’s ‘Witches Hammer’

RECOMMENDED READING/LINKS: Julia Kristeva: Approaching Abjection (Powers of Horror). Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger: Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches) (1487): Full online text. James I (of England): Demonologie (1597). The Witch Hunts (good resource page from King's College, with summary and a good anotated links page). Suffer your own persecution! Elspeth Whitney: International Trends: The Witch "She"/the Historian "He" (1997). Russell Hope Robbins: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. Aldous Huxley: The Devils of Loudun. Tracy Willard: Tales at the Borders: Fairy Tales and Maternal Cannibalism. Witch Trials as 'Gendercide'. Witch Trials Timeline. Cornell University Witchcraft Collection (large online library of original texts). Medieval Sourcebook: Witchcraft Documents (15th Century). Witchcraft, Demonology and Inquisition: info and texts. Witchcraft and the Witch Trials (at Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English: Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers. David Booth: “Witches Can Do Marvellous Things”: Witch Powers as Rhetorical Device in the Texts of Witch Hunters. Psychoanalysis and Gender: Overview. Feminist Theory Web. Jung on Anima. Jo Nash: The Thinking Body: A Feminist Revision of the Work of Melanie Klein. Society for Laingian Studies. Michel Foucault (also here and free online texts), Deleuze and Guattari (plus texts). BOOK (intro and fragments): Zbigniew Kotowicz: R. D Laing and the Paths of Anti-Psychiatry. Mind Freedom. MadPride UK. Thomas Szasz. Naomi Weisstein: Psychology Constructs the Female (1968). Modules on Kristeva (psycho-sexual development, the abject). Freud and Religion



12. Terrorism and national and ethnic conflict

Andrew Silke: Terrorism, 911 and Psychology (2004),

Toma Tomov and Evgueni Guentchev: PTSD Among Victims of Organized Violence: A Report from Bulgaria (1993)

Robert Young: Fundamentalism and Terrorism (2001). Psychologist: Analysis of Aftereffects of September 11 (2001),

Paul Marsden and Sharon Attia: A Deadly Contagion? The Psychology of Suicide Bombing and the Role of the Meda (2005).

Robert Young: Psychoanalysis, Fundamentalism, and Terrorism (2002). Primitive Space: Psychotic Anxieties.

Mark Edmundson: Freud and the Fundamentalist Urge (2006)

Jeffrey Stern: Psychoanalysis, Terror, and the Theater of Cruelty (2007), Janine Puget (2002) :The State of Threat and Psychoanalysis,

David Wilmsen: A Kin-selected Explanation of Suicide Bombing (2003), Shahid Najeeb: A stone-bridge view of fanaticism (2003)

VIDEO: Slavoj Zizek: Why Only an Atheist Can Believe, Anna Costin: Psychology in Gaza and the West Bank (2006),

Niccolo Caldararo: The Origins and Nature of Fundamentalism in Society (2002), Shahid Najeeb: Circles in the dust (2002)

Margot Waddell & Gianna Williams: Reflections on Perverse States of Mind (1991)

Miles Hewstone: Intergroup contact, Panacea for prejudice? (2003, The Psychologist),

Peter Bull: Shifting patterns of social identity in Northern Ireland (2006, The Psychologist)

Robert Young: Sectarianism, Toma Tomov: Ethnic Conflict and Mental Health: An Agenda for the Future (1994),

Trevor Lubbe: 'Victims, Perpetrators and Healers at the Truth and Reconcilliation Commusion: Being in the Same Boat',

Richard Crisp: Social categorisation: Blurring the boundaries (2002, The Psychologist),

Daniel Fessler & Carlos Navarrete: Normative Bias and Adaptive Challenges:

A Relational Approach to Coalitional Psychology and a Critique of Terror Management Theory (2005)


Remembering, repeating and working through

13-14. Remembering, repeating and working through

Student presentations and review of the main themes of the course


mid term exam

15. Final exam