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Existentialism and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

Tue, May 9, 2017 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

$10 – $15

Existentialism and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement:
Considerations on Laing, Cooper, Schizoid-analysis and Radio Alice

A two-week presentation by Michael Pelias
Tuesday, May 9 and 16, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Behind the anti-psychiatry movement that blossomed during the 1970s was the fundamental post-Freudian work of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential psychoanalysis. This highly creative approach by Sartre was named “existential psychoanalysis” and was first articulated at the end of the classic, Being and Nothingness (1943). We will read a selection of this new approach to psychic individuation alongside the Laing/Cooper nexus that sprung the anti-psychiatry movement and resulted in open psychiatric institutions, mental health liberation activity, and an on-going critique of “bourgeois” psychiatry and contemporary behaviorism, cognitive and psycho-pharmacological approaches to the question of what is mental health. We will also look at Laing’s famous proposition that schizophrenia is the sanest reaction to capitalism and engage the schizoid analysis of Deleuze and Guattari alongside the anti-psychiatry moment of Basaglia and Radio Alice in Italy.

At minimum, please read this section from Laing’s Politics of Experience at Marxists.org: https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/laing.htm

Michael Pelias teaches both ancient and modern Philosophy at Long Island University, Brooklyn and is one of the co-founders of the Institute for the Radical Imagination and co-managing editor of the journal Situations.

Those who are participating in the New Left course on Tuesday evenings are already enrolled for these two sessions.

Fees listed below are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.


Brooklyn Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue
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Beginnings of a New Left

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