BPS/Birkbeck Professorial Fellows Annual Lecture: “Knowledge and Its Pretenders”

Date: Wednesday June 12th
Time: 8.30pm – 10pm
Venue: Room B34 Birkbeck, University of London
Speaker: David Bell
Discussant: Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck

All cultures develop their own modes of self-explanation but such explanations, somewhat like symptoms, inevitably conceal as much as they reveal. In this sense psychoanalysis may be well placed to enter into a critical relation with the forms of consciousness that characterise our age. The ideology of the market has so penetrated into social consciousness that it appears as “normality”. This lecture aims, here following a valuable psychoanalytic tradition, to problematise this apparent normality. In so doing it will examine the kinds of subjectivity it generates, and which are necessary to sustain it. It will include reflections on the current socio-economic crisis, the concept of welfare, the psychological consequences of increasing inequality and an interrogation of an archaic mentality that seeks to create simple binary divisions in the human world- such as that between “skivers” and “strivers”. The lecture will thus seek to show how, under the sway of this peculiar ideology knowledge of our world is usurped by its various pretenders.

This lecture is free and open to all – no registration. For more information please  visit www.bbk.ac.uk/events-calendar/david-bell-annual-lecture

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