THE BOX SET MINDSET AND THE FORENSICS OF POPULAR CULTURE
A day conference organised by
The International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy
Media and Inner World Research Network
in association with
Bournemouth University and the University of Roehampton
28 November 2015, 9.30am – 6pm
The Wesley Centre, London, 81-103 Euston Street, London NW1 2EZ
Representations of crime and criminal behaviour have long been central to the history of popular culture and now seem to dominate the landscape of the popular cultural imagination. From Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books through to Hollywood films such as The Silence of the Lambs and television shows such as Law and Order, the forensic dilemmas underpinning dramatic fiction have regularly fascinated audiences. In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in long-form television series that grapple with forensic dilemmas involving gangster and mafia groups, murderers, drug barons and corrupt political figures and organisations. Our fascination with these shows has been intensified by technological shifts that allow us to ‘binge-watch’ box sets so that aspects of the experience of addiction also arise in us as avid viewers and fans.
This one-day symposium brings together members of IAFP and the Media and the Inner World research network to explore the psycho-cultural appeal of well-known television dramas, in which the forensic themes of murder, violence, and revenge play a key narrative role. Focusing on highly successful television series such as Forbrydelsen/The Killing, Breaking Bad and House of Cards, this event will apply the expertise of eminent forensic psychotherapists and senior academic researchers to discuss why and how audiences relate to such programmes and their dark, compelling themes and characters. The production of such drama is now big business thanks to the box-set mindset it invokes, and it is significant that forensic ideas often lie at the heart of the storylines.
What fantasies are at play when engaging with the psychopathologies of crime on show in such programmes and what makes them such compulsive viewing? What do these forensic themes and their dominance in popular culture tell us about the psychodynamics of contemporary society and the fantasies that circulate within it? How can an understanding of these processes enhance the practice and theories of forensic psychotherapy and also create a dialogue with academic researchers in the field of media and cultural studies? We hope to address these questions throughout the course of the day through an exciting programme of panels and discussion groups.
To register and pay for the seminar please go to: http://forensicpsychotherapy.com/events/47-the-box-set-mindset/event-details
For assistance please contact Genevieve.Baker@uwclub.net
ESRC Festival by the Sea
A Study Day on the Forensics of Murder and Identity Theft in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Date Saturday 14th November 1-5.30 pm
Venue: Allsebrook Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB
It is 60 years since Patricia Highsmith first published her psychological thriller, The Talented Mr Ripley, and its forensic themes have fascinated readers ever since. Following its successful adaptation on stage and screen, this study day links the enduring appeal of the story to the theme of identity theft, which is foregrounded throughout the narrative.
The event combines insights from the arts, psychology and sociology to both dramatise and discuss the motivations and emotions underpinning identity theft as a pervasive psychosocial issue. The session begins with a screening of the film The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella, 1999), followed by discussion with experts and the audience. The discussion of the film is followed by a live performance from the theatre adaptation of the book in the form of a monologue by a member of the award winning Faction theatre cast. After the performance there will be an interactive panel discussion with a psychotherapist, Faction theatre members and BU academics.
The panel will include psychotherapist Professor Brett Kahr, Faction Theatre Actor, Christopher Hughs, Director and scriptwriter of the Faction stage adaptation of The Talented Mr.Ripley, Mark Leipacher and BU Media and Communication Professors Iain MacRury and Candida Yates. This event is funded by the ESRC, and is also supported by the Narrative Research Group and builds on research carried out by Professor Yates as a Director (with Professor Caroline Bainbridge, Roehampton University) of the UK Media and Inner World Research network (MiW) that combines sociology, media studies and psychoanalysis to explore the role of emotion in culture and society.
Timing: 1- 5.30pm
1–3.15pm Film Screening: The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella, 1999) (This is optional for those who have seen it)
3.30-4.00 pm Discussion of film
4.00- 5.30pm Actor’s performance and discussion panel.
- The event will appeal to members of the public and also to mental health professionals, and educators interested in the study of identity theft and the psychological, sociological, cultural and clinical themes of the Ripley story.
- The event brings together the spheres of art and science and the innovative format of the session will enable audiences to engage with contemporary forensic concerns in an accessible, and stimulating way.
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
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:
‘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.