MLA Convention 2023: Samuel Beckett Society Panel, Sunday 8 January (Virtual)

This year’s MLA Convention is being held in San Franciso, California from 5-8 January, and continues the recent trend of combining in-person and on-line panels. The annual Samuel Beckett Society panel will be held virtually and can be accessed world-wide by those registered for the convention. The panel, which will take place at 8:30 to 9:45 PST promises a particularly rich discussion under the rubric Beckett and the Work of Care featuring the following participants:

Elizabeth Barry (University of Warwick]: ‘The Salvation Army Is No Better’: Beckett, Aging, and the Ambivalent Work of Care.

Swati Joshi (Indian Inst. of Tech., Gandhinagar): Caring Nurses and Nursing Care in Beckettopia

Molly Crozier (U of Liverpool): Care, Need, and Gendered Labour in Endgame and Happy Days

Laura Salisbury (U of Exeter]: Waiting for Beckett: Suspended Time as the Work of Care.

The panel will be chaired by Feargal Whelan (Trinity College Dublin).

More details about the convention are here.

From the Bariatric Clinic – Dialogue between Dr Anuradha Menon and Prof Lisa Baraitser, 5 December 2022

The history of human obesity is complex. Modern Bariatric services offer medical and surgical interventions towards what proves a challenging task for both patient and clinician – that of encouraging sustained, substantial weight loss over a lifetime. Psychological approaches within bariatric services have a place not only in supporting treatment before and after surgery, but also in those who choose lifestyle modification over surgery. However, the focus of evidence-based approaches in healthcare settings is time-limited; and predictably on weight loss as the main desirable outcome rather than an exploration of the totality of the obese patients’ experience. Today’s Maudsley lecture is an attempt to address this gap by exploring the setting and frame of a Bariatric service from a psychoanalytical perspective. Dr Anuradha Menon who is a liaison psychiatrist and psychoanalyst working in a Bariatric service in Leeds will be in dialogue with Professor Lisa Baraitser, a psychoanalyst who has written widely on feminist theory, motherhood, ethics, care and temporality.


Chaired by Simon Harrison and Emma Hotopf


Anuradha Menon is a Member of the British Psychoanalytic Society and has an analytic practice in Leeds. She also works part time as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy and Liaison Psychiatry in the Leeds and York Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust and leads the psychological service offered by the Specialist Weight Management Service (SWMS), a Tier 3 regional service for Bariatric patients seeking medical and surgical treatments for Obesity.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, and a Psychoanalyst and Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is the author of Enduring Time (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and has written widely on feminist theory, motherhood, ethics, care and temporality. She currently co-leads a Wellcome Trust research project on waiting in relation to healthcare.

5 December 2022
6:30pm – 8:00 pm
Recording available for 1 week to all registered participants
 
Hybrid Event
Online via Zoom and In Person at 10 Windsor Walk SE5 8BB
Click here to book the ticket.

 

PPNow 2022 Insiders and Outsiders: Navigating identities and divisions inside and outside the consulting room. 11-12 November, 2022

This conference considers divisions between the ‘internal’ and the ‘external’, what is ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the psychoanalytic profession and practice, and how we might take more of a psychosocial and intersectional perspective in psychoanalytic work.

PPNow 2022 will open with a public lecture by Dr Noreen Giffney on the evening of Friday 11 November, followed by a full programme on Saturday 12 November.

Saturday 12 November Professor Lisa Baraitser will give a talk ‘On being with others ‘now’’.

Registration and details are here.

‘Queuing for Britain: What are we Waiting For?’ by Laura Salisbury and Lisa Baraitser

Britain may be less united in mourning the death of the Queen than portions of the media would like to suggest, but somehow the epic queue to file past her coffin mattered. The Queue was a sign of national grief, we were told. Its orderly length was peak Britishness. The Queue represented an urge to feel part of history being made. The Queue was a spectacle that was consciously being managed to produce the feeling of a nation united.

People tutted at celebrities who appeared to have jumped the Queue, or praised the levelling effect of a structure that forced David Beckham to wait with all the other ‘subjects’. Other voices pointed out that standing in line for over a day to pay one’s respects to a figurehead whose riches were literally (and strategically) untold, is a deeply ambiguous expression of equality.

Maybe what mattered most about the Queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state, though, was its representation of a form of benign waiting. The Queue evoked an atmosphere of sacrifice and service that drew together the monarch and ‘her people’ under a sense of continuity and tradition that seemed to mean something to many. The Queue also looked, and seemed to feel, like a glimpse of a sense of community, half imagined, half real but passed over, where people would ‘look after’ each other. Although queuing is an ordering structure based on very strict hierarchies, people spoke of putting others’ needs – for snacks or clothing or cheery conversation – temporarily ahead of themselves.

We are told, over and again, that our contemporary society of instant access and 24-7 availability means that we no longer know how to wait. In the Queue, however, we had a representation of patience returned to its etymological root of endurance, even suffering. Although religious practices structured by waiting for deliverance and a better world to come have lost much of their force in a more secular society, the Queue to see a figurehead who was, anachronistically, both the Head of State and of the Church of England, echoed with religious and spiritual affects, if not necessarily always with their beliefs.

Of course, the idea that late stage capitalism means that we have lost our ability to wait is grimly contradicted by the reality of contemporary Britain.[1] As NHS waiting lists for elective surgery are at record levels and everyday bits of care like seeing (or speaking to) a GP or dentist become tests of endurance, waiting is a grinding reality for most. People in the gig economy lead working lives structured by frenetic activity and periods of unpaid inactivity, as they wait to service the demands of other people’s clocks.[2] People wait, pedalling on hamster wheels of maddening bureaucracy, for care packages delivered by hollowed-out, contracted-out services that councils are no longer resourced to afford.[3] People wait to find out if they can survive the coming winter.

One thing the Queue made clear is that waiting – the long and painful experience of extended time that does not pass – can be transfigured into a more manageable state by a belief that what we are waiting for will, in the end, be delivered. Waiting is also structured and managed by narratives that shape experiences of suffering into ideas of sacrifice. People can wait and endure in the name of something they understand to have an importance that reaches beyond the themselves. People can wait for the idea of the service of the Queen that her lying-in-state represents. People waited to ‘Protect the NHS’ during the COVID lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 beyond what most behavioural scientists advised was possible at the beginning of the pandemic.[4] And as we learned during lockdown, time that does not pass easily is made more bearable when waiting becomes a shared, collective practice, and the overarching waiting for of a grand project is grounded and made possible through small, everyday caring acts of waiting with others.[5]

One might accurately read the Queue as structure that manages and disciplines the time of a period of mourning, producing the optics of a sense of historical continuity with the institutions and practices the Queen represented. But in terms of what Raymond Williams named ‘structures of feeling’,[6] the culture of the Queue also evoked affects of collectivity, service, and even the ambiguous equality of being a ‘subject’ that reached beyond our current times and the capitalist structures that have penetrated most aspects of British life.

Other feelings are available, of course, despite some of the crude attempts to police them. For many, the British monarch’s death represented a moment when the reality of the violence of Empire must be faced, alongside the extractivism on which capitalism, inextricably bound to colonialism, has fed and through which it continues to flourish. Not all waiting is benign. As historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has described it, colonised nations were forced into the waiting room of history while British interests were served.[7] Martin Luther King also insisted that suggestions that Black Americans should wait a little longer for emancipation would not do when ‘“Wait” has almost always meant “Never”’.[8] As those living on with the consequences of colonisation know all too well, being asked to wait when lives might be preserved by being attended to, or being asked to wait in pain while the resources to alleviate it are being withheld or funnelled elsewhere, is political violence.

Waiting in and for the NHS tells us much about the violence of waiting, but it also tells us about possibilities for something else – possibilities for care.[9] Since its inception, there have been concerns about waiting times in the NHS as they became the explicit responsibility of the State. In the early decades of the NHS, new technologies like appointment systems were introduced to rid GP practices of queues that sometimes stretched well out of the door. Appointment systems, which might also have been used to manage the current Queue, were introduced to take care of the doctors’ time first, and then the patients’, producing more timely access to care and fewer working hours lost.[10]

It was during the 1980s and 90s that long waiting times became a specific marker of failure in the NHS. In the period defined by so-called ‘Targets and Terror’, little was left of the shared post-war idea that there was a benign or necessary form of waiting, say, for spectacles or false teeth, as the new NHS slowly repaired the damage to the nation’s health produced by previous unequal access to treatment.[11] Instead, as the historian of the queue, Joe Moran, has argued, by the 1970s and 1980s queueing was associated with faltering communist regimes. It was no coincidence that the iconic Saatchi and Saatchi poster campaign commissioned by the Conservative Party in 1978 and 1979 used an image of a queue to represent the ruling government’s failed socialism. The queue meant, simply, ‘Labour isn’t working’.[12]

But in the early years of the NHS, for many British citizens waiting in a queue for healthcare was a scene of possibility and change. To be waiting meant that you were now a patient of the NHS who would, in the end, be seen, rather than someone who could never afford to call the doctor out. The queue, whether literal or in the form of a waiting list, signalled a form of care that aimed to manage need rather than to service the ability to pay.[13] And new structures of feeling and identifications slowly emerged in which there was an NHS to wait for, albeit a highly imperfect one, and others to wait with.[14]

This NHS could not have been built and staffed without the labour of British ‘subjects’ from decolonised and decolonising nations.[15] Indeed, the wealth to provide a Welfare State at all in the UK was born over centuries from industries thoroughly dependent on Empire. Nevertheless, being asked to wait and even to queue for the NHS, and the Welfare State more broadly, produced something progressive that is worth holding on to. Waiting did not simply mean ‘never’; instead, it was structured by a collective sense of ‘looking after’ others who had been placed ahead by a service that aimed to allocate care according to need. If a commitment to care and the allocation of resources is to be genuinely underpinned by principles of justice and equality, which would include attending to the injustices of the past and the present and taking care of the future, then the process of ‘looking after’ will require renewed forms of collective action. But it will likely also require new forms of collective waiting, of holding back, perhaps even of queueing. Instead of imagining that waiting must always be reduced through processes of restructuring, privatising, and the delivery of services for profit under the pressures of market forces, perhaps we might use some of the structures of feeling that underpin the capacity to wait to prioritise a collective commitment to care, service, and to justice. That would surely be worth waiting for.

 

Laura Salisbury and Lisa Baraitser.

18 September, 2022.

 

 

[1] Lisa Baraitser, Enduring Time (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).

[2] Sarah Sharma, In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics (Durham: Duke UP, 2014).

[3] For an account of this dynamic that has only intensified in the last decade, see Ivor Southwood, Non-Stop Inertia (London: Zero Books, 2011).

[4] Ulrike Hahn et al, ‘Why a Group of Behavioural Scientists Penned an Open Letter to the U.K. Government Questioning Its Coronavirus Response’, Behavioural Scientist, 16 March 2020

[5] Lisa Baraitser and Laura Salisbury, ‘Containment, Delay, Mitigation: Waiting and Care in the Time of a Pandemic’Waiting and Care in Pandemic Times, Wellcome Open Research, 2020.

[6] Raymond Williams, ‘Culture is Ordinary’, (1958), Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism (London: Verso, 1989), pp.

[7] Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 8.

[8] Martin Luther King, Why We Can’t Wait, (1964) (London: Penguin, 2018), p. 91.

[9] See Lisa Baraitser and William Brook, ‘Watchful Waiting: Temporalities of crisis and care in the UK National Health Service’, Vulnerability and the Politics of Care: Transdisciplinary Dialogues, ed. Victoria Browne (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

[10] Martin D Moore, ‘Waiting for the Doctor: Managing Time and Emotion in the British National Health Service, 1948–80’, Twentieth Century British History, 33, 2, (2022), pp. 203–229

[11] With thanks to Martin D Moore for this point.

[12] Joe Moran, ‘Queuing up in Post-War Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 16, 3, (2005), 283-305.

[13] Martin D Moore, ‘Waiting for the Doctor: Managing Time and Emotion in the British National Health Service’, 1948–80. Twentieth Century British History, 33,2 (2022), pp. 203-229.

[14] See, Mathew Thomson, ‘The NHS and the Public: A Historical Perspective’, https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2017/10/nhs-and-public-historical-perspective

[15] See Roberta Bivins, ‘Picturing Race in the British National Health Service 1948-1988’, Twentieth Century British History, 28, 1, (2017).

 

New Thinking: Waiting. A conversation with Dr Michael Flexer and Professor Victoria Tischler

Waiting is an inevitable part of life, whether it’s in the waiting room of a GP surgery or waiting for lockdown to end.

As part of the Waiting Times project, Dr Michael Flexer, a publicly engaged research fellow at the University of Exeter, explores different concepts of waiting and suggests that some forms of waiting – for seeds to grow, for the curtain to rise in a theatre – can be positive. https://WhatAreYouWaitingFor.org.uk

Professor Victoria Tischler is from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter and co-investigator of the Pandemic and Beyond project. During lockdown her project Culture Box sent out packages to care home residents filled with activities: watercolour paints, seeds, guides to birdsong. She shares her thoughts on how these activities changed the recipients’ relationship to time. https://pandemicandbeyond.exeter.ac.uk/

This episode was made in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UKRI. You can find a collection of episodes focused on New Research on the Free Thinking programme website on BBC Radio 3.

Producer: Tim Bano

 

Listen on BBC Radio 3

Swati Joshi, ‘Proprioceptive Care and the work of Samuel Beckett’. Monday 18th July 2022

Swati Joshi, a Doctoral Fellow of Medical Humanities at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar will give a talk ‘Proprioceptive Care and the work of Samuel Beckett’ at the University of Exeter.

1-2pm, Monday 18th July,
Board Room, Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health
University of Exeter

or online

Join Zoom Meeting
https://Universityofexeter.zoom.us/j/94643708069?pwd=eW1sRU8wbzhGOW03cEdJeVVxYzBRQT09

Meeting ID: 946 4370 8069
Password: 971968

 

 

 

Parapraxis Conversations: On The Maternal. 9-10th July 2022

A Conversation on “The Maternal.” Part of a recurring lecture series centered on keywords in psychosocial thought.

Join The Psychosocial Foundation and Parapraxis for a conversation on “The Maternal” with Dr. Joy James, Dr. Lisa Baraitser, and Dr. Sarah Knott. Moderated by Dr. Hannah Zeavin.

Tickets are sliding-scale. Your contributions fund our continued work at The Psychosocial Foundation, including Parapraxis Magazine. To learn more about the whole series, click here. To learn more about Parapraxis , click here.

Date and time:

Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 6:00 PM –

Sun, Jul 10, 2022, 7:30 AM BST

Location:

Online event

Book Tickets 

Acland Burghley School’s Workshop in collaboration with Sally Booth, Peltz Gallery and Waiting Times project

 

A few weeks back I had the amazing opportunity to go into Acland Burghley School for a collaboration between the Peltz Gallery, The Waiting Times Project, artist Sally Booth, and a group of year 11 students in the art classes. The goal was to begin an early relationship with the school in the hopes to do a great deal more collaboration in the future. Overall it was quite a success! To tie into the current Time Being exhibit at the Peltz and the larger theme of the Waiting Times project we asked Sally Booth to come in a craft a workshop for the students. Over a 4 hour workshop we spoke with the students about the Peltz and when they could come to the exhibit, gave an overview of the exhibit Time Being and a rundown on what Waiting Times was researching around themes of waiting and care. After Sally introduced herself and her work and talked the students through her process as an artist and the ways she has learned to navigate the world, we moved into the project for the day. The work Sally did with the students was to create concertina pieces where they collaborated in pairs to build their work. Here began a great discussion with the students on the ideas around waiting and care and what it meant for them to wait and how to look forward. Questions came up such as when have you had to wait? When have you had to be patient and resilient? Waiting for appointments, for a birthday, to go on holiday, to go out,  to see their friends, waiting for COVID to end?  What do you look forward to? A special place? To be more independent? To go somewhere new, to do something fun? Jumping off from this chat we quickly lead the students into work to settle on a theme for their concertina piece. Students found a multitude of ways to pick a time they had to wait and to work that into the piece they were creating while also finding ways to collaborate that piece with a partner. Some ideas they crafted were waiting for public transit, a groom waiting for his bride, a pig waiting for slaughter, a bird waiting to take flight, and waiting for family to visit. At the end of the session, the students grouped all their concertina pieces together and curated a layout that wrapped around the room with their beautiful work. Before leaving the students were encouraged to come to the exhibit and sit more with the themes of the project. Peltz is hoping to collaborate further with the art team at Acland Burghley, to continue doing workshops of this type, and to hopefully host a small student exhibit in the near future. Please enjoy some of the students’ pieces and check out the Time Being exhibit running at the Peltz Gallery. 

Emily Jewison, School of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

Lisa Baraitser on ‘Care, Hate, Gender: Revisiting the case of Harold Shipman’. The Roots of Misogyny, A Psychoanalytic Conference. Saturday 22nd January 2022

The Political Mind Presents: The Roots of Misogyny
 A Psychoanalytic Conference
Saturday 22nd January 2022
10.00am – 4:30pm  
These discussions will be delivered remotely via Zoom.
 
Recording available*
 
This is a psychoanalytic conference exploring developmental and psycho-social perspectives on misogyny. We will discuss the emergence of hatred and violent persecution of women, linking its origins in the crucible of the family with its manifestations in wider society. 
 
We hope to provide insight into the extremes of the uncivilised psyche. This special event day will include people from a wide range of disciplines. 


Chair:

Ruth McCall is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, supervisor and training psychotherapist for several British psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings and past tutor for MSc in Psychoanalytic Studies, UCL. She has a special interest in hysteria and psychosomatic disorders, and lectures on Freud and Winnicott’s work.

Speakers:

Renee Danziger is a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL. She has a DPhil in politics, and a particular interest in the application of psychoanalytic theory to social and political issues. She is the author of Radical Revenge: Shame, Blame, and the Urge for Retaliation. Free Association Books (2021).

Dr Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and co-founder of The Women’s Therapy Centre in London (1976) and The WTCI in New York (1981).
Susie is the author of twelve books. Her most recent In Therapy: The Unfolding Story is an annotated version of the BBC Radio 4 series. Her first book Fat is a Feminist Issue has been continuously in print since 1978. Bodies (which won the APA Psychology of Women’s Book Prize in 2009) was updated in 2019. She has published many papers and frequently writes articles for the press, and wrote a Guardian column for ten years.
She has a strong interest in social policy and co-authored recent government-commissioned reports and has also been a member of government expert panels.
She was Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Social Policy at the London School of Economics for ten years. Susie is the recipient of the Inaugural British Psychoanalytic Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) in 2019.

Prof Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London, and a psychoanalyst and member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is author of the award-winning monograph, Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and Enduring Time (Bloomsbury, 2017). She currently holds a collaborative award from the Wellcome Trust for a 5-year cycle of research, Waiting Times, that investigates the relationship between time and healthcare.

Jacob Johanssen is Senior Lecturer in Communications, St. Mary’s University (London, UK). He is the author of Psychoanalysis and Digital Culture: Audiences, Social Media, and Big Data (Routledge, 2019). His research interests include psychoanalysis and digital media, audience research, sexuality and digital media, affect theories, psychosocial studies, and critical theory. His second monograph Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere: Male Bodies of Dis/Inhibition is forthcoming with Routledge. He is Co-Editor of the Counterspace section of the journal Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Jacob is a Founder Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

Prof Kate Manne is an associate professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University. Before that, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2011 to 2013.
She specialises in moral philosophy (especially metaethics and moral psychology). feminist philosophy, and social philosophy and writes opinion pieces, essays, and reviews.

She authored Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (Oxford University Press: New York, 2018; Penguin UK, 2019) about the nature, function, and persistence of misogyny. A second book, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women came out in August 2020, with Crown (US) and Penguin (UK).

Panel Chair:

Dr Anuradha Menon is a Psychoanalyst in private practice in Leeds, UK and a Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is originally from Kerala, India where she trained in Medicine. She qualified as a Psychiatrist in Mumbai. In the U.K she dual trained in Medical Psychotherapy and Adult Psychiatry in Leeds and works part-time as a Consultant in Liaison Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the NHS.

Panel:

Rosanna Lewis, Ruth McCall, Jacob Johanssen, Marika Mckennell.

Rosanna Lewis is a senior independent domestic advisor for Sistah Space). Sistah Space, is a domestic abuse service that profiles and gives voice to awareness of African Heritage Women and Girls affected by domestic and sexual abuse. Rosanna has a social work background, particularly with children and families, and has also worked in domestic violence in the local area. She has always been involved in community work and facilitates holistic health workshops, and she has also been a bookseller for many years.

Marika Mckennell is an award-winning playwright with a background in spoken word poetry and performance. She was a member of the Royal Court writers’ group and was a resident artist at the Round House London 2017-18. Marika has written shows for venues such as Camden People’s Theatre, Shaftsbury Theatre Westend (for the NYT Gala), North Wall Oxford, The Roundhouse, Bunker Theatre, Southwark Playhouse (for ALT show case) and Edinburgh Fringe 2019 where she won a Fringe First Award for her play E8. Marika has performed poetry across the UK, at venues such as The Sky Garden, The Freud Museum, and The Royal Court, as part of the Open Court Festival. As well as writing and performing Marika facilitates creative workshops and has worked for 6 years as head of drama in an alternative provision for excluded young people with complex behavioural needs in Hackney East London.

Programme and tickets here.

Maddening Times: Storytelling Workshop. Part Of Bloom: Exeter’s Online Festival Of Mental Health Awareness

Join us for a special storytelling event from Dr Michael J Flexer as part of Bloom – our online festival to mark Mental Health Awareness Week. You can find out more about the festival including more free, online activity here >>


Being locked-down and out of contact, has been a trying and transformative time for all of us.  For some, it has been very stressful, being kept away from loved ones or our routine activities and social groups.  For others, the time alone has offered a bit of respite or escape from everyday pressures and problems. We’ve all been through a shared stressful time, but in our own different ways. 

Join with us, the Waiting Times project, to share stories of our experiences from this pandemic year. 


ABOUT THE WAITING TIMES PROJECT

The session will be run by Dr Michael J Flexer, publicly engaged research fellow, Waiting Times project, Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter. 


HOW TO JOIN

This is an online event which will be hosted on Zoom. Please choose the ‘print at home’ option and the Zoom meeting link will appear on your e-ticket.

If you can’t find your link or have any questions please email dettie.ellerby@exeterphoenix.org.uk

Register for your free place now >>


We are proud to partner with After The Storm for this year’s Bloom Festival. Find resources, advice and support on their website here or by following After The Storm on Facebook here.


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