Psychoanalysis “Post Truth”: US Election Special – an Interdisciplinary Conference with the Freud Museum

Sundays 1 and 8 November, 14:00 – 17.30 GMT

Are we truly living in a post-truth era?

If so, how can psychoanalysis and other fields of thought help us illuminate the contours of this predicament?

Misinformation, misinterpretation and outright lies have been part of public discourse since the ancient world. However, what strikes us today is the imperviousness of falsehoods to correction through the presentation of facts. This phenomenon first caught public attention following the Brexit vote and election of Donald Trump – and in the past months, has massively intensified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poorly-defined term ‘post-truth’ indexes a series of contemporary political and psychic phenomena, including the collapse of traditional media and rise of social media; the ascendancy of extreme rightwing politicians; and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories including ‘anti-vaxxers’, ‘COVID-truthers’, and ‘Q-Anon’.

Moreover, contemporary political antagonisms in the field of gender (from #MeToo to men’s rights, and from non-binary to trans exclusionary feminism) and race (from BLM to the so-called refugee crisis) have put the question of social justice face to face with problems of libidinal enjoyment, identification, and the manipulability of meaning.

On the cusp of the US presidential election and deepening political uncertainty around the world, this interdisciplinary digital conference brings critical and psychoanalytic interventions to bear on the question of politics and public discourse in the midst of the apparent collapse of trust in scientific and authoritative knowledge.

This conference is organised with Dr Jordan Osserman and Dr Foivos Dousos in partnership with the Ministry of Post-Truth and the Freud Museum.

Audience participation is highly encouraged and the event has been designed to maximise engagement across speakers and attendees.

We will also host a selection of short films on the theme of post-trut h curated by Fil Ieropoulos and the audio-play ‘Nixon in Agony’ by Adam Donen.)

Visit the Freud Museum to book tickets and see the full conference programme and abstracts.

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