Escape from Evil:
Understanding & Overcoming Violence
A panel discussion at Left Forum
The NY Chapter of the Ernest Becker Foundation will sponsor a panel at the Left Forum conference at Pace University in June. The panel is titled: Escape from Evil: Understanding and Overcoming Violence. The primary panelists are Sheldon Solomon, Professor of Psychology and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Skidmore College, and James Gilligan, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director Mental Health Services for the Massachusetts prisons.The panel will focus on the psychology, politics, and economics of lethal violence at home and abroad. NY Chapter members David Rouge and Stephen James will be on hand to introduce the panelists and provide information on the Ernest Becker Foundation.
Left Forum provides a context for critical dialogue that is essential for a more just society. It is the largest gathering in North America of the US and international Left, bringing together intellectuals and organizers to share perspectives, strategies, experience and vision. Left Forum provides a context for critical engagement by people of different persuasions who seek common ground to discuss, debate, and engage political stands with each other. The conference does not take political stands itself; it facilitates networking and other vital tasks among attendees
The Left Forum conference will be held at Pace University, One Pace Plaza, New York City. The Escape from Evil panel discussion will be on Sunday, June 9, 12:00pm-01:50pm, Room: W608.
This year's theme of Left Forum is "Mobilizing for Economical/Ecological transformation.” Speakers include Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, and Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera.
For more info. check with Steve James at 203-984-0573, or at www.leftforum.org
With Dan Liechty and Sheldon Solomon
Corey Anton, Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State U, MI, is a Becker fan, and has been called an “intellectual everyman.” Check him out on YouTube, and you’ll see why. Over three days he will give us 2 lectures and a roundtable, all stimulated by two all-star EBF discussants, Dan Liechty of Illinois State and Sheldon Solomon of Skidmore College NY.
We are lucky that all three will be with us all three days and Sheldon even stays to speak at a Seattle church Sunday, May 12.
We are also fortunate to have sponsors at both campuses, Prof Steen Halling doing the honors at Seattle U and Prof David Domke at the University of Washington. Read More...
By Daniel Sullivan
Julia V. Douthwaite’s The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France is an intriguing contribution to historical and literary scholarship on the era of the French Revolution. The book is fairly wide-ranging, exploring in its four major chapters various aspects of the history of the Revolution and how they were portrayed in the literature of the time as well as more recent works. It is an enticing combination of detailed historical research and healthy theoretical ambition, which should make it engaging at worst and unusually useful at best for a wide range of scholars in the humanities and social sciences.
As an example of the book’s attention to detail, its title is drawn from the recognition by Douthwaite of the significance of an obscure 1790 novel, Le Miroir des événemens actuels (The looking glass of actuality) by François-Félix Nogaret. Despite the fact that this book features a fictional inventor and automaton-builder with a name that is a slight elaboration on Frankenstein, apparently no previous scholar has noted its potential importance for studies of Mary Shelley’s classic. As an example of Douthwaite’s attempts to connect her research to broader theoretical issues and matters of contemporary import, she notes (p. 19) that later literary interpretations of the Women’s March on Versailles cast the Revolution in terms analogous to Becker’s causa sui project, which Becker identified as characteristic of the modern world and about which he became increasingly critical.
By Dan Liechty
Of Recent Interest… is the new collection of essays Facing Cancer and the Fear of Death: A Psychoanalytic Perspective On Treatment, edited by Norman Straker (Jason Aronson Publishers, 2013). This book emerges out of concerns psychiatrist Norman Straker has noticed in current medical education, treatment and policy. In medical education, students are pushed in a direction that most rewards those who are able to set feelings aside, suppress a sense of vulnerability and helplessness, and make treatment decisions in an impersonal manner. This continues in medical education despite the fact that the AMA has explicitly advised that students should be selected giving more weight to interpersonal skills and signals of empathy. Why is it so difficult for medical education to shift in that direction?