The Ernest Becker Foundation
The EBF has active members in North America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, and Oceania. Every year, giving this widespread membership the chance to get to know each other face-to-face, we organize an October Seattle fall conference (from 1995 to 2004 called the LOV — for Love of Violence, and since 2007, UVTEC — for Understanding Violence: Tools for Educators and Communities).
We also sponsor smaller events, symposia, workshops, salons, and lectures to expand the discussion and advance the application of Becker’s synthesis. Write-ups of past events and promotions for upcoming events, when available, can be accessed through the links provided.
Unless otherwise noted, all prior events took place in Seattle.
Corey Anton in Seattle May 8-10
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.
“Education and Ethics in the Digital Age”
Seattle University Wednesday May 8 at 7 p.m., Bannan Building (ENGR) Wykoff Auditorium
This talk addresses shifts in both education and the contemporary moral landscape brought about by developments in media forms and communication technologies. It focuses on the role education can play in facilitating meaningful, ethical life engagements for global citizens and public intellectuals in the new millennium.
A second SU event will be a roundtable on Friday from 2-4 pm at Hunthausen #110.
“Natural Guilt, Death Acceptance, and
the Meaning of Transcendence”
University of Washington Thursday May 9
at 7 p.m., Communications Building, Room 210
By documenting how memory, imagination, and symbolic representation developed in ancient humans, we find the likely origins of the kinds of agency and experience of self-determination that not only solidified natural guilt but precipitated a need for “the gods” as ultimate sanctioning agents.
The talk tries to tease out the various means and techniques by which people hide from their agency. It also identifies the avenues of courage and resilience that come from grasping our cosmic connectedness. A main goal throughout is to reveal robust modes of transcendence afforded by the extra-mundane heroism of death acceptance.
From Dan Liechty’s blurb for Anton’s Sources of Significance: Worldly Rejuvenation and Neo-Stoic Heroism (2010): “...extending some important strains of his previous award-winning work, Selfhood and Authenticity (2001)...Anton breaks new ground by bringing the works of Ernest Becker, Kenneth Burke and Hans Jonas into resolute dialog, allowing each to interpret and extend the other. What emerges is a truly original perspective, emphasizing the universality in human affairs of ‘natural guilt’ and the various avenues provided by culture for its expiation.”
Corey Anton is Past-Editor of the journal Explorations in Media Ecology (2008-2010), and Past-Chair of the Semiotics and Communication Division of the National Communication Association. A Fellow of the International Communicology Institute, he currently serves as VP of the Institute of General Semantics.
Becker on Otto Rank
"Rank was—as the young people say—'something else' You cannot merely praise much of his work because in its stunning brilliance it is often fantastic, gratuitous, superlative; the insights seem like a gift, beyond what is necessary."
From the preface to Denial of Death
more on Otto Rank here