CFP Media Representations of ‘antisocial personality disorder’

Wednesday, 16th September 2015
Bournemouth University

ESRC Seminar Series:  Cross Disciplinary Perspectives on ‘antisocial personality disorder

This day-event is being organised as part of the ESRC sponsored seminar series ‘Cross Disciplinary Perspectives on antisocial personality disorder’ ( and is being run in association with the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University and the ‘Media and the Inner World’ (/ research network.

We are using ‘Antisocial personality disorder’ as a shorthand for a range of labels used to describe individuals who seem to act in very antisocial ways but who otherwise appear to have a clear understanding of the world. A central thesis of this series is that the kinds of difficulties that are likely to involve the use of labels like ASPD need to be understood within broader historical, cultural and socio-political contexts than many psychological and psychiatric constructs allow.

This event is designed to explore the ways in which the meanings of ASPD have been shaped by the representations of ‘antisocial’ or ‘deviant’ identities in wider culture – in art, literature, film, television and news media. One can find such representations in classic literary depictions of antiheroes like Heathcliff in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights or Camus’s L’etranger. Lionel Shriver’s 2003 novel and later film adaptation, We Need to Talk about Kevin provides a more contemporary example of a portrayal of an antisocial individual that provoked discussion about the gendered dynamics of the family and maternal ambivalence. Cinematic representations of psychological disturbance can be found in the ‘outsider’ despair and destructiveness of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976), or in representations of jealous women in films such as Fatal Attraction (Lyne, 1987) or Gone Girl (Fincher, 2014). On TV, the proliferation of forensic detective dramas such as CSI (CBS, 2000) or legal dramas such as Silk (BBC1, 2001), often trouble the boundaries of ASPD and its meanings as a psychological condition.In news media, representations of mental health are also widespread in efforts to understand the subcultural shaping of individuals such as Dylann Roof, Timothy McVeigh,  Mohammad Sidique Khan and others committing acts of ‘terror’.
Whilst such images contribute to the cultural shaping of ASPD, they in turn can have influence on legal and psychiatric debates about the nature of dangerous individuals. As the role of Taxi Driver in the trial of John Hinckley (who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan) illustrated, the interaction of media, psychiatry and law can be very direct and can have powerful implications. It is important therefore to explore the ways in which images of ASPD in popular culture also influence the fields of forensic psychotherapy, psychiatry and the law.
We are therefore inviting submissions from people who have an interest in media representations of ‘antisocial personality disorder’ and their significance to psychiatry and socio-legal contexts.

As this is sponsored by the ESRC we be able to pay modest travel and accommodation costs for speakers.

If you are interested in contributing, please send a 300 word abstract to:

·        Dr David W Jones, Reader in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London (

Closing Date: 7th August (we will let people know soon after)

The organisers

·        Dr David W Jones, Reader in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London (

·        Dr Chris Scanlon, Group Analyst and Principle Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London. (

·        Professor David Gadd (University of Manchester)

·        Candida Yates, Professor of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University (


CFP: Psychoanalysis in Our Time 2015 – Psychoanalysis and Addiction Nordic Summer University, Druskininkai, Lithuania, 18th-25th July 2015

Psychoanalysis in Our Time is a 3 year international research initiative funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The work is interdisciplinary and we welcome film scholars, literary scholars, clinicians and social scientists as well as filmmakers and fine artists. Dr Tyrer and myself are also editing a collection of essays to be published shortly by Routledge based on the Copenhagen Symposium and there are further publications planned. Please see the website for further details: (<>)

Now into our second year, and following the great success of sessions in Copenhagen, Iceland and recently in at Tallinn University earlier this year, the Psychoanalysis in Our Time research circle is very pleased to announce the call for papers for our joint Summer Session with the Nordic Summer University, to take place in Druskininkai, Lithuania from 18th – 25th July 2015. The topic for this session will be “Psychoanalysis and Addiction”.

Please see the following web address for full registration details (a small number of scholarships will be available but for those you have to send the abstract in before 15th April):
We are looking for a range of proposal for papers on the subject of Psychoanalysis and Addiction – which could deal with cinema, literature, art, politics as well as the clinic. Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short biographical statement to Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska ( or Dr Ben Tyrer (
The deadline for submission is 8th May 2015.

Further details:

In late 1880s Freud wrote a series of papers about the effects of cocaine, suggesting the theory that the addictive seeks temporary alleviation of depression originating from conflict in the instinctual forces. In a letter to Flies, a few years later he suggested that masturbation is the primal addiction for which all other addictions are substitutes.  Freud of course came to abandon his ideas of cocaine as well as other notions regarding addictions. Most theorists since Freud have kept the emphasis on drives. RD Chessick describes the addictive personality as one that “has regressed to a primitive auto-erotic apparatus that aims only to restore infantile omnipotence”. Others, such as Edward Glover, criticized the classical theory and argued addiction as an imbalance of the ego, which is caught between regressing towards psychosis and progressing towards mastering anxiety. E Lurssen, on the other hand, developed Thomas Szasz’s idea, who saw addiction as a disorder resulting from a dysfunctioning superego. He saw the addictive as an individual who creates a chemical mythology to protest against the destabilized relationship with the parents.
According to Lacan the addictive personality bypasses the Other for a direct access to jouissance. However, even though the addicted Subject rejects the Other, s/he is forever depended on an Other with whom connection is believed impossible. At the same time that s/he acts alone, s/he is constantly seeking out the collective experience, where both jouissance and the unbearable Real can be shared. (It is no wonder, then, that Therapeutic Communities are the ones with best results in treating addiction.) And recent developments, for example, in neuropsychoanalysis have sought to understand the relation between habit, reward and dopamine in terms of jouissance, as exemplified by the work of Ariane Bazan, or anxiety in Brian Johnson’s work.
In the age of neoliberalism and consumerism, we are seeing a renewed rise in certain forms of addiction: eating (anorexia, bulimia); while others are appearing as new: such as shopping, video games, excessive Internet use, etc. Although these kinds of addiction can be seen as a surrender to the drives, this specific consumerism does not necessarily exclude the importance of language. So far as this consumerism functions like a superego – as an imperative to enjoy, sustained and promoted by the market – the Subject seems to consume itself under the pressure of our time’s addictions.
As well as a clinical phenomenon, addiction is also a constant point of focus in culture and media, from Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (an autobiography of laudanum addiction, whose drug-induced visions could make an interesting comparison piece with Freud’s Traumdeutung, for example), and Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle’s versions of Trainspotting, to reality TV programme My Strange Addiction (an exploitative view of a variety of compulsive behaviours, many not conventionally considered “addictions”). We would therefore also be very keen to receive proposals for psychoanalytically-informed investigations of addiction in television, film and literature, and other art and media forms.
We welcome submissions for 20 minute papers from artists, academics and clinicians, and would invite different approaches to this subject from, for example, neuroscientists alongside historians, film and literature scholars and natural and social scientists with an interest in psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis and Literature, 21 March

Saturday 21 March 2015   9.15 am–1.30 pm

Psychoanalysis in the Academy

The British Psychoanalytical Society, Byron House.

Seminar 2: Psychoanalysis and Literature

“Actual” Neurotic Literature’

Josh Cohen (Goldsmiths University of London and Institute of Psychoanalysis)

‘Trauma, Memory and Narcissism as Realised in Form in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro’

Diana Webster Thomas

‘Poetry, Psychoanalysis and Negation’

Matt ffytche (Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex)


More information here

Performance of The Talented Mr Ripley: 21st Feb

Saturday, 21st February 2015

MiW@The Faction Theatre Performance and Discussion Panel: Identity Theft and The Talented Mr. Ripley


It is 60 years since Patricia Highsmith first published her hugely successful and disturbing psychological thriller, The Talented Mr Ripley, and its themes of murder, identity theft, and erotic, jealous desire have continued to fascinate readers ever since.


On Saturday, 21st February, 6.30pm, The Faction theatre company will perform The Talented Mr Ripley at the New Diorama Theatre, Regent’s Place Estate, London NW1 3BF


The play will be followed by a special MiW discussion panel on the theme of Identity Theft and the Talented Mr. Ripley, with speakers from the worlds of psychotherapy and academic research and members of the cast.


Speakers on this panel include:  Brett Kahr (Psychotherapist), Academic scholar, Iain MacRury (Bournemouth University) and MiW Director, Candida Yates (Bournemouth University).


For tickets, please  contact:

Mark Leipacher

Psychosocial Research Seminars at UEL

Wednesdays, 5-6pm, Room: US 2.31

University Square Stratford Campus (USS)

4th February, 2015

Psychosocial ambiguity in the development of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’

Karen Raney, School of Arts and Digital Industries, UEL

This talk uses Christopher Bollas’ ideas of play work and psychic genera to discuss the development of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ (1939), known to us through preliminary drawings and photographs of stages the painting went through. Particular attention will be given to the sketches, which show the artist’s courting of, and toleration of, structural ambiguity, and his avoidance of premature closure.  I will argue that this corresponds to Bollas’ idea of the ‘generative chaos’ necessary to the formation of genera – the pulling in of relevant ideas, feelings and meanings – which allows for full elaboration of symbolic possibilities to take place.  Anton Ehrenzweig’s idea of unconscious scanning will also be mentioned.

Karen Raney is a lecturer at the University of East London, editor, painter and writer. Previously she worked as a nurse in the San Francisco County Jail, she was Research Fellow at Middlesex University, writer for the Whitechapel Gallery’s  ‘Download’ project, Visual Arts Officer at Arts Council of England, and lecturer at Open University, City Literary Institute, Tate Gallery, RA schools, London Guildhall, and Institute of Education. She has been editor of Engage journal, of the international association for visual art and gallery education since 2000. Karen Raney’s research interests are in the imagination, the interaction between theory and art practice, visual art education, and museum and gallery culture.

Philosophical Perspectives on ‘Antisocial Personality Disorder’

Philosophical Perspectives on ‘antisocial personality disorder’

Tuesday January 20th,2015 (9-30->5.00pm)

Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ

The diagnosis of ‘antisocial personality disorder’ has a long and controversial history in various guises such as moral insanity, feeblemindedness and psychopathy. One of the important continuities between these has been the association with crime and other ‘antisocial’ behaviour.

Throughout this history a number of challenging philosophical questions have been raised:

* What implications does the identification of such disorders have for notions of individual responsibility and criminal culpability?
* Does the identification of such disorders absolve the individual of guilt, or imply a more indelible sense of ‘dangerousness’?
* Are such disorders understood as residing within individuals as a disease like lesion, or a state of being?
* Are they better understood as consistent aspects of the personality, identity, or even biological condition of the individual, or as temporary states?
* Are such disorders better understood as not residing within individuals at all, but as disorders of social relationships?

Papers from:

• Dr Edward Harcourt (Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Keble College, Oxford)
• Dr Gwen Adshead (Locum Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, formerly Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor High Security Hospital)

* Katariina Parhi (University of Oulu, Finland)
* Anja Berninger (University of Stuttgart)
* Anneli Jefferson (Kings College London)
* Marion Godman (University of Cambridge)
* Chris Millard (Queen Mary London)

This is part of an ESRC funded seminar series: <<>>

If you are interested in attending this event you will need to book a place:<>/

Continuum for Psychotherapists Workshop: 24th January 2015

Following the successful introduction of Continuum for Psychotherapists this past month in London, another  workshop will take place on January 24th, 2015 at the Synchronicity Studios, SW9.

The intention is to co-create a regular, ( quarterly ) workshop for a group of psychotherapists who wish to explore and enhance in their somatic wellbeing as a pre-requisite to a sustainable, creative and enjoyable professional practice.

There will only be 6 spaces available at the time of the next workshop so please do register your interest early.

Please see this file for more details.

‘Between Skins The Body in Psychoanalysis’: Book Launch

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis
Contemporary Developments
Nicola Diamond
University of East London, UK
Between Skins challenges individualistic accounts of the body in psychoanalysis. Drawing on philosophy, contemporary
neurobiology and developmental research, Nicola Diamond explores the ways in which bodily processes and skin experience
are inseparable from the field of language and environmental context.
Please RSVP to
Click here for more details.

Event at UEL: Visualising from Memory

The Psychosocial Studies Research Group and the Centre for Narrative Research invite you to:

Visualising From Memory: Trauma, Art and Narrative in the work of Barbara Loftus.
Friday, 28th of November, 2-5 pm, SD 1.12 (Sports Dock), Docklands Campus, University of East London.

All Welcome

Barbara Loftus is Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Psychosocial Studies Programme, University of East London. She is a figurative painter who combines traditional studio practice with performed re-enactment, historical research and digital media to feed into her image-making process. The theme of her current work is the convergence of personal memory and major historical events. Her mother Hildegard’s long-held silence, only broken in 1995, unlocked a door into the spirit of a ruined Europe, recounting personal experiences of growing up as a Jew in Germany during the inter-war period. Through a series of visual narratives which take the form of paintings, graphic sequences, film and bookworks, Barbara Loftus constructs a visual interpretation of trans-generational memory, mining the experience and perceptions from two generations divided in time by the second world war – her mother’s and her own. Her focus on specific details of everyday life frames significant memory images that have the capacity to act as historical ciphers of human experience.

Short Film Screening: Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Images of Memory

Julia Winckler (University of Brighton), Barbara Loftus: Archival and Artistic Practices.
Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London), Late Memory: Mothering, Delay and the Virtual Past.
Nicola Diamond (University of East London), Loss, Absence and the Uncanny Nature of the Void: Exploring Alterity and the Body Symptom in the Aftermath.

Julia Winckler (University of Brighton), Archival and artistic practices: This presentation will use Barbara Loftus’ artistic processes and the short film as a starting point. Referring to the photography module “Experimental Archaeology: Within and Beyond the Archive”, which Julia has taught for the past ten years, this talk will discuss a small number of archival and photographic practices that reactivate the past in meaningful, creative ways.
Julia Winckler is a Senior Lecturer in photography at the University of Brighton. She has written about therapeutic uses of photography in “Acts of Embodiment: explorations of collaborative phototherapy” co-authored with Stephanie Conway, for Wild Fire: Art as Activism, Deborah Barndt (ed) 2006, Sumach Press; “Connecting Self and the World: Image-ing Community” for Through Our Eyes: My Light 2008, Robert H.N. Ho Foundation, Hong Kong; and “A time we were not born”: experimental archaeology – working within and beyond the photographic archive with photography students” in Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age, in Del Loewenthal (ed), Routledge, 2013.
Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London), Late Memory: Mothering, Delay and the Virtual Past: This talk engages notions of ‘late memory’ to understand the mother-daughter relationship that emerges in recent work by Barbara Loftus. Loftus’ mother, Hildegard Basch, was silent for most of her life about her experiences of fleeing Germany as a Jewish refugee in 1939, and only late, in older age, did she begin to talk to her daughter about her memories of Germany. I develop the idea of the subject of old age as the subject constituted not only by a relation to lost objects, as Freud describes, but a relation to lost time, whereby the past itself becomes constitutive of the self when understood in a Bergsonian sense of memory as a virtual archive. Through the work of the psychoanalyst, painter and theorist, Bracha Ettinger, we can link the ageing mother, for whom memory is constitutive, to the emergence of a daughter, for whom the co-affective traces of such memory is generative.
Lisa Baraitser is a Reader in Psychosocial Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, and a psychotherapist in independent practice. She is the author of the award-winning monograph, Maternal Encounters; The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and the forthcoming edited collection A Feeling for Things, with Michael O’Rourke (Punctum Books, 2014). She is the co-founder of MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics), an interdisciplinary research network that explores meanings and representations of motherhood in contemporary life, and co-editor of the journals Studies in the Maternal, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. She is currently an Independent Social Research Foundation Fellow, working on a new book on gender and temporality.

Nicola Diamond (University of East London), Loss and absence and the uncanny nature of the void: Exploring alterity and the Body Symptom in the aftermath: In this paper I explore uncanny affects. Thinking of Barbara Loftus and her work, I am struck by the ambiance of empty interiors -spaces where an absent history is marked. How is memory of a lost past lived and traces re-inscribed? Whereas some researchers today look at visual arts for answers, I, as a clinician, take the body symptom and the uncanny as a focus. The canvas here is body surface expressing a somatic and ‘felt’ narrative, before words fully articulate traumatic memory of loss. These ideas are particularly explored with reference to the uncanny affect and states of embodied alterity. Questions of language and the body are also to be touched upon.

Dr Nicola Diamond is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London and psychoanalytic psychotherapist BPC registered in private practice. She lectured in Film and Psychoanalysis at the Tavistock, and worked as a staff psychotherapist at The Womens Therapy Centre and at the Helen Bamber Foundation (with people who suffered human rights violations). She is author of Between Skins 2013 and co-author of Attachment and Intersubjectivity, and numerous publications on the body relational space and sociality.

Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, Nearest tube station: Cyprus, DLR (