Tagged / political culture

BU at The Freud Museum: ‘Powerplay: Psychoanalysis and Political Culture’

Special Day Conference, BU at the Freud Museum:

‘Powerplay: Psychoanalysis and Political Culture’

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We are surrounded by political culture as never before and yet, in some ways have never felt so powerless. The recent Brexit vote ( see: http://bit.ly/EUReferendumAnalysis2016_Jackson-Thorsen-and-Wring_v1) and the victory of Trump in the US Presidential election (US Election Analysis website) have foregrounded the significance of politics as a field of social and cultural contestation, shaped by the dynamics of power, history and material interest, but also by the irrational forces of emotion and processes of unconscious fantasy. In December 2016, the BU Centre for Politics and Media collaborated with the Freud Museum, and the Media and Inner World research network to host a special conference on different aspects of political culture today.

The conference was held at the Anna Freud Centre and the Freud Museum, London and it brought together some renowned figures to look at a broad idea of political culture and psychoanalysis, discussed as history, as a state of mind, as televisual culture and as being linked to political practice. Throughout the course of the day, the conference looked at these different areas, and how those spheres feed into the political imagination and the unconscious processes that shape it.

The day began with organizer, Professor Candida Yates (biog) who in her opening remarks, developed the themes of her recent book, The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan) by discussing the psychodynamics of political culture, focusing as a case study on the relationship between shame and the emotional appeal of Donald Trump for voters.

BU Professor Barry Richards (biog) then chaired the first full session of the day with the renowned cultural historian, Professor Eli Zaretsky (biog). He discussed ‘The Three Faces of Political Freud’ and the hisorical influences of psychoanalysis upon political social movements (abstract).

The second presentation was given by Psychoanalyst and Organisational Consultant, Philip Stokoe (biog), who presented a psychoanalytic approach to understanding the states of mind in societies that can produce Brexit and Trump (abstract)

In the afternoon, BU Professor, Iain MacRury (biog) interviewed the acclaimed TV screenplay writer, Andrew Davies (biog), who discussed the experience of writing TV drama House of Cards and its links to the theatre of politics in ‘real life’.

In the final session, Psychotherapist and TV and radio broadcaster, Professor Brett Kahr (biog) interviewed Baroness, Professor Sheila Hollins (biog) about the day to day culture of working as a female politician in the House of Lords. As an Independent member of the House of Lords, she speaks on mental health, disability and press regulation and she spoke in a highly compelling way about the experience of her work in those fields.

The conference was fully booked and the audience was made up of psychotherapists, analysts and academics and PhD students from the fields of politics, history, cultural studies and psychosocial studies. Students from the BU MA in International Political Communication also attended and contributed to the discussions that took place throughout the day.

The talks were recorded on podcast and so there will be an opportunity to catch up via the Freud Museum website: https://www.freud.org.uk/events/76650/power-play-psychoanalysis-and-political-culture/

Our thanks to the Centre for Politics and Media and the Freud Museum for hosting and partly funding this timely and enjoyable event.

Emotion, Power and Politics in Richard III, 8 July, 6.30pm, BU at the Freud Museum – Tickets now available

‘The Psycho-Cultural Dynamics of

Emotion, Power and Politics in

Richard III’

 

Friday 8th July 2016,

6.30-8pm

Venue:

The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

Tickets:

https://freud.org.uk/events/76491/the-psycho-cultural-dynamics-of-emotion-power-and-politics-in-richard-iii/

Richard

The Freud Museum in association with Bournemouth University and the Media and Inner World research network present a special panel discussion on the themes of Shakespeare’s Richard III and the motivations of its characters and the play’s relevance for contemporary understandings of emotion and politics. The event includes the performance of some key speeches from the play as performed by actors from the award-winning theatre ensemble, The Faction.

Panel speakers include:

Michael Rustin (University of East London), Margaret Rustin (Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust), Rachel Valentine Smith and Mark Leipacher (The Faction) Chair: Candida Yates (Bournemouth University).

 

Followed by a drinks reception 8-9pm

& celebration of Candida Yates’ latest book,

The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity, Palgrave Macmillan

 

 

New Publication by Bournemouth Professor Candida Yates: ‘The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity’

Yates Politics book imag

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about the publication of my new book, The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity.

Candida Yates, Professor of Culture and Communication, Bournemouth University

cyates@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity offers a new ‘psycho-cultural’ perspective on the psycho-dynamics of UK political culture and draws on psychoanalysis, cultural and media studies and political sociology to explore the cultural and emotional processes that shape our relationship to politics in the late modern, media age. Against a backdrop of promotional, celebrity culture and personality politics, the book uses the notion of ‘play’ as a metaphor to explore the flirtatious dynamics that are often present in the mediatised, interactive sphere of political culture and the discussion is elaborated upon by discussing different aspects of cultural and political identity, including, gender, class and nation. These themes are explored through selected case studies and examples, including the flirtation of Tony Blair, Joanna Lumley’s Gurkha campaign, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, David Cameron’s identity as a father and the populist appeal of UKIP politician, Nigel Farage.

Table of contents

1. Introducing Emotion, Identity and the Play of Political Culture
2. Spinning the Unconscious and the Play of Flirtation in Political Culture
3. The Dilemmas of Post-Feminism and the Fantasies of Political Culture
4. Political Culture and the Desire for Emotional Wellbeing
5. The Absent Parent in Political Culture
6. Moving Forward to The Past: Fantasies of Nation Within UK Political Culture
7. Reflections on the Psycho-Cultural Dynamics of Political Culture

Further details can be found at Palgrave Macmillan: 

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/the-play-of-political-culture–emotion-and-identity-candida-yates/?sf1=barcode&st1=9780230302525

Some reviews

‘Whether she is discussing the political manifestations of a contemporary crisis in masculinity and fatherhood, postmodern feminism, nostalgia, narcissism, play, or therapy culture, Yates’s psychoanalytic lens illuminates, in a nuanced fashion all too rare today, both regressive social trends toward mastery and progressive, creative potentials for change. This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the complex interplay of fantasy, emotion, identity, media, and politics in the era of neoliberalism.’ – Lynne Layton, Harvard Medical School, USA

‘Exploring the entanglement of media, politics and emotions, this is a bold and original book that should be read by students and scholars in Sociology and Media Studies,and anyone with an interest in contemporary political life. It articulates a psycho-cultural perspective, moving with verve and insight from election politics to celebrity culture and from Russell Brand to poverty porn, offering a psychoanalytically informed reading of British political life and its structures of feeling. A satisfying and thought-provoking read.’ – Professor Rosalind Gill, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, City University London, UK

‘Through a psychoanalytic critique of the anxieties, fantasies and obsessions that characterise today’s intensely emotional political culture, Candida Yates’ new book makes a powerful case for the argument that Psychosocial Studies is the new Cultural Studies.’ – Sasha Roseneil, Professor of Sociology and Social Theory, Birkbeck, University of London, UK.