Public ambivalence towards democracy has come under increasing scrutiny. It is a mood registered perhaps most clearly in the fact populist figures, from Trump to Orbàn to Duterte, appear to carry strong appeal despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact, they pose a threat to democratic institutions and processes of governance. Are ambivalent citizens the grave threat to democracy they are often portrayed to be in media and academic discourse on populism? In this article, I contend that citizens’ ambivalence about democracy is a more complex, spirited and volitional idea than is acknowledged in the current discussion of populism. Drawing on psychoanalysis and critical social thought, I embrace a conception of citizens’ ambivalence in a democracy as both immanent and desirable. I argue ambivalence can be a form of participation in democracy that is crucial to safeguarding its future.
Anne Kelley, Dennis Brown, Leonora Nattrass, Fiona Ritchie and Lisa Hopkins
Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594–1998 edited by S. P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (London: Routledge, 1998) ISBN 0–415–16443–5 paperback £14.99, ISBN 0–415–16442–7 hardback £45.00
Psychoanalysis and the Scene of Reading by Mary Jacobus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) ISBN 0–19–818434–4 hardback £25.00
Charlotte Smith: A Critical Biography by Loraine Fletcher (London: Macmillan, 1998) ISBN 0333678451 hardback £47.50
Ireland in Proximity: History, Gender, Space Edited by Scott Brewster, Virginia Crossman, Fiona Becket and David Alderson (London: Routledge, 1999) ISBN 0 415 18958 6 paperback £14.99
Repositioning Shakespeare: National Formations, Postcolonial Aspirations Thomas Cartelli (London: Routledge, 1999) ISBN 0–415–19134–3 hardback £50.00, 0–415–19498–9 paperback £15.99
Michel de Certeau
After a certain time-lag, the Jesuit Michel de Certeau (1925-86) has come to be recognized as one of the most creative cultural theorists of the late twentieth century, in the same class as his more celebrated contemporaries Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The secondary literature on Certeau is increasing at a remarkable rate. A Certeau reader was published in 2000 and an intellectual biography in 2002.2 A remarkable polymath, Certeau practised at least nine disciplines (history, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, literature, geography and psychoanalysis), and he has been discussed from many points of view. All the same, as this article will attempt to show, one of the various contexts in which his thought developed has been relatively neglected
Marc Saperstein, Frank Dabba Smith, Susan Cohen and Howard Cooper
Robin Judd, Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering, and Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843–1933, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), £24.95, 283 pp., ISBN 978-0-8014-4545-3. Review by Marc Saperstein
Bernard Kops, Bernard Kops’ East End, By the Waters of Whitechapel (Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2006), £9.99, 238 pp., ISBN 978-1-905512-11-9.
Philip Davis, Bernard Malamud, A Writer’s Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), £18.99, 377 pp., ISBN 978-0-19-927009-5. Reviews by Frank Dabba Smith
Edie Friedman and Reva Klein, Reluctant Refuge. The Story of Asylum in Britain, foreword by Maeve Sherlock, British Library, London, 2008, 153 pp., ISBN 978-0-7123-0887-8 Review by Susan Cohen
Karen E. Starr, Repair of the Soul: Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis, New York/London, Routledge, 2008, 134 pp., ISBN 978-0-88163-487-7 Review by Howard Cooper
The Adorno Reader, edited by Brian O’Connor. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. Reviewed by Ben Parker
Writings on Psychoanalysis: Freud and Lacan, by Louis Althusser; edited by Olivier Corpet and François Matheron. Columbia University Press, 1996. Reviewed by Clayton Crockett
On the Pragmatics of Social Interaction: Preliminary Studies in the Theory of Communicative Action, by Jürgen Habermas; translated by Barbara Fultner. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2001. Reviewed by Iain MacKenzie
Senses of Culture: South African Culture Studies, edited by Sarah Nuttall and Cheryl-Ann Michael. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Reviewed by Arnold Shepperson
Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory, by Bhikhu Parekh. Basingstoke & London: Macmillan, 2000. Reviewed by Laurence Piper
Heidegger and Derrida on Philosophy and Metaphor: Imperfect Thought, by Guiseppe Stellardi. Humanity Books: New York, 2000. Reviewed by Patrick Lenta
Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? Five Interventions on the (Mis)use of a Notion, by Slavoj Zizek. New York: Verso, 2001. Reviewed by Kevin A. Morrison
Projection and Introjection, or the Witch and the Spirit-Medium
What is the relationship of psychoanalysis to questions of dignity, self-respect and respect for others?1 How, ultimately can we link Freud with Aristotelian concerns for eudaimonia – human flourishing – and for phronesis – sustained moral judgement?2 If Freud rightly tempers Aristotle’s optimism, how might Aristotelian questions illuminate and complement Freudian forays into personhood? If repression is defined as a state of disconnection and disavowal, of nonacknowledgement of one’s own thoughts and acts, then it is morally and politically problematic. Repression generates projection, in which accountability is displaced onto others. However, I argue that in some instances, and given the appropriate cultural means, it may provoke a dialectical return. Such introjection provides the opportunity for gradual reconnection, recognition and, ideally, the acknowledgement of responsibility.
From the Drama of Production to the Production of Drama
Gluckman's paper, "The Bridge," challenged received social anthropology, initially in segregated South Africa, at the LSE, and more generally, by illustrating that professional observers and participants in social situations are profoundly mutually interinvolved with one another despite wide cultural differences. While retracing his own history within it, the present writer relates this new anthropology to the methods of modernist literature (and to changing natural science approaches) in which writers such as Joyce and Woolf, and more recent successors, revealed the culture of an epoch in the closely analyzed incidents of even a single day. They paralleled Freud's methods in psychoanalysis and the specific analyses of discrete political situations in Marx, as well as in later developments of television, film, and the visual arts. After Gluckman's move to the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, Oxford, and finally Manchester, he and his colleagues and students are shown as developing this interpretive method in very varied contexts.
Hazel E. Barnes
While Sartre scholars cannot fairly be described as being opposed to science, they have, for the most part, stayed aloof. The field of psychology, of course, has been an exception. Sartre himself felt compelled to present his own existential psychoanalysis by marking the parallels and differences between his position and traditional approaches, particularly the Freudian. The same is true with respect to his concept of bad faith and of emotional behavior. Scholars have followed his lead with richly productive results. But we may note that the debate has centered on psychic and therapeutic issues, aspects of what Sartre called le vécu or lived experience, rather than on the findings of cognitive science or neuroscience. Although all existentialists and phenomenologists accept as a central tenet the fact that consciousness is embodied, there has been virtually no concern with the biological substratum. But the study of consciousness cannot be restricted within its own narrow confines—unlike, say, Greek grammar, which can be learned without reference to the rules of Arabic. At some point, there must be established an organic foundation for the behavior of the conscious organism.
On Roles, Goals, and Imagos in Boyhood—An Evolving Psychoanalytic Vision
Clifton Edward Watkins
The psychoanalytic vision of the father-son relationship, for far too long, remained yoked to patrifocal, patriarchal, phallocentric, and heteronormative biases. Fathers were seen as the paragons of masculinity, providing their sons with rescue and salvation from the sinister specter of enmeshment with and engulfment by mother. Only in the last approximate 25 to 30 years have we seen a significant shift in that vision of fathers begin to occur in psychoanalysis. In this paper, I consider some of the essentials that appear to now define that ever-evolving psychoanalytic vision of fathers. Some ways in which fathers seemingly contribute to boys’ development will be examined, and the roles, goals, and imagos that characterize the father-son relationship during boyhood will be accentuated. This current vision, still very much a work in progress, reflects earnest efforts to contemporize an antiquated and gender biased psychoanalytic perspective and render it relevant for the twenty-first century father, fathering, and father-son relationship. Upending psychoanalytic overemphases on pathology, misery, and negativity, it is an optimistic iconoclasm that challenges and questions tradition, proposes an alternative path to explanatory possibilities and conceptualizations, and above all else, embraces and celebrates “more life,” joy, happiness, health, and positivity in fathering.
Anne Sexton and the Holocaust
Writing in postwar America for an eighteen-year period between 1956 and 1974, the poet Anne Sexton was repeatedly drawn to the Holocaust, and its awkward cultural legacy, as a source of creative inspiration. Still, while her contemporary, Sylvia Plath, has generated a series of fierce debates as a result of the Nazi–Jew symbolism in her poems ‘Daddy’ (1962) and ‘Lady Lazarus’ (1962), there have been no sustained excavations of Sexton’s own complex relationship to the Holocaust. In this article, I aim to shed new light on Sexton’s use of Holocaust imagery by making detailed reference to three of her poems: ‘My Friend, My Friend’ (1959), ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (1971), and ‘After Auschwitz’ (1974). Written at various stages in her career, these poems not only engage with the subject matter of the Holocaust at the level of content, but also at the level of form. More explicitly, these poems display a range of formal eccentricities that register the difficulties of converting the Holocaust into poetry and which, I argue, might be usefully reconsidered alongside recent theoretical discourses on aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and trauma.