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Total Belief — Delirium in the West

5:30 pm
February 22, 2012
Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street

What is the nature of our political investments?  In what, psychically, do they consist?  In this lecture, Distinguished Visiting Fellow Jacqueline Rose (Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London) will return to Hannah Arendt’s analysis of totalitarianism as mental control and ask: what form of belief and passion does such subjection entail? What happens when a political belief becomes sacred?  What categories of truth and falsehood, belief and disbelief, were engaged in the ideological order of the Third Reich?  

This lecture will suggest that there is a productive link to be forged between Arendt’s analysis and Freud’s engagement with the question of faith. Above all, by focusing on one of the darkest moments of European history, it will suggest that those who too quickly ascribe the category of the religious `fanatic’ or `extremist’ to distant cultures and worlds have much to learn from some of the most intense deliriums – lethal and transformative - of the West.

Jacqueline Rose is internationally known for her writing on feminism, psychoanalysis, literature and more recently on the politics and ideology of Israel-Palestine.  Her books include, Feminine Sexuality – Jacques Lacan and the école freudienne, which she co-edited with Juliet Mitchell and translated, Sexuality in the Field of Vision (Verso Radical Thinkers), The Haunting of Sylvia Plath, States of Fantasy (the Oxford Clarendon lectures), On Not Being Able to Sleep – Psychoanalysis and the Modern World, The Question of Zion (the Christian Gauss seminars), The Last Resistance and the novel Albertine. Conversations with Jacqueline Rose came out in 2010, The Jacqueline Rose Reader in 2011 and Proust Among the Nations – from Dreyfus to the Middle East early 2012. A regular writer for The London Review of Books, she wrote and presented the 2002 Channel 4 TV Documentary, Dangerous Liaison – Israel and the United States.  She is a co-founder of Independent Jewish Voices in the UK and a Fellow of the British Academy, and teaches at Queen Mary University of London.

More about Jacqueline Rose.

A copy of the poster.

This lecture is part of CRITICAL DIALOGUES IN ARTS AND HUMANITIES.