Full course description
This course presents an alternative perspective on anxiety, depression, and pessimism, challenging the conventional understanding that is predominantly influenced by positive psychology. In mainstream discourse, positive thinking is often valued while negative thinking is stigmatized, and treated as a pathology to be addressed. This course explores the alternative philosophical and psychoanalytic comprehention of the negative dimension of human existence, focusing on themes of suffering, despair, anxiety, and trauma.
Additionally, the course has a practical focus where we'll practice empathetic listening and other skills crucial for the challenge of bearing the pain of our own existence and coexisting with others.
As part of this course, students have the option to keep a personal log of any changes in their thinking or insights related to the course material. This exercise is not mandatory but can be a a precious artifact of their existential exploration.
Course Practicalities :
This course will run Tuesday over 8 weeks, evenings from 7:00-9:00pm, 6th of February to 26th March 2024, online over Microsoft Teams.
Week 1: Introduction: Therapeutic Society and Possible Alternatives
Week 2: Schopenhauer's Pessimistic Philosophy: Suffering is Everywhere
Week 3: Kierkegaard and Heidegger on Anxiety
Week 4: Freud's Theories on Trauma and the Death Drive
Week 5: Sabina Spielrein: We-Psychology and the Dialectic of Destruction
Week 6: Catherine Malabou on Destructive Plasticity
Week 7: Todd McGowan: The Negative Project of Psychoanalysis
Week 8: Concluding Remarks and Discussion of the Optional Exercise: How to be Negative
Julie Reshe, a Ukrainian-born philosopher, a practicing negative psychoanalyst, and a public intellectual, has been gaining international attention and recognition due to her recent book Negative Psychoanalysis for the Living Dead: Philosophical Pessimism and the Death Drive, published by Palgrave in 2023. Currently, she serves as a visiting professor at both University College Cork and University College Dublin and holds the position of Director of the Institute of Psychoanalysis at the Global Centre for Advanced Studies."
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.
Contact Details for Further Information