FW: [ANTHRO-L] Call for Papers: Symposium on the Psychology of War
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Symposium on the Psychological Interpretation of War
January 15-17, 2004, New York City
Sponsored by the Library of Social Science
Anthony Giddens has observed that the failure of scholars to come to terms with the meaning of violence and war constitutes “one of the most extraordinary blank spots in social theory in the twentieth century.” This is an astonishing lacuna. War is a central institution in the history of civilization. World War I and World War II were the defining events of the 20th century. Just when it seemed that we were moving toward a globalized existence, we have been thrown once again into a world dominated by ideologies of violence.
War has caused monumental devastation and suffering. Yet, despite its awful consequences, the institution of warfare is taken for granted as a fact of life. What is the nature of those desires and anxieties that fuel enthusiasm for war, compelling us to embrace it in spite of the invariable misery it creates and the disillusionment that follows in its wake?
The symposium will be both a workshop and a seminar, gathering scholars and professionals from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, literature, military studies and religious studies to address the meaning and consequences of the human propensity to die and kill in the name of political and religious ideologies.
The following questions will serve a springboard for analyzing violence, war, genocide, terrorism, and hatred as socially organized phenomena:
(1) What psychological and cultural mechanisms underlie socially sanctioned, collective forms of violence, transforming killing into a moral act?
(2) What is the relationship between violence and “sacrifice?” Why are human beings willing to die in the name of reified objects with which they identify?
This symposium seeks presenters and others interested in participating in an intensive dialogue about various types of violence, the similarities and differences among them, and methodologies for analyzing them.
Possible topics for presentation include:
- Linguistic and metaphorical aspects of political speech that generate violence
- Psychoanalytic approaches to the dynamics of violence
- The role of “basic training” as preparation for sacrifice
- “The enemy”
- Anthropological and cross-cultural studies of war
- Ideological and religious doctrines as the source of violence
- Similarities and differences between war, genocide and terrorism
- War and gender
- War, death and memorialization
To present, please provide the titles of your talk plus a 150 word abstract of your presentation before November 15, 2003. Others wishing to attend please provide a brief statement of about 150 words indicating why you wish to participate and how you hope to contribute.
Please e-mail your proposals to libraryofsocialscience@... or send by FAX to 413-832-8145.
For further information please contact the Symposium Director, Jay Bernstein, Ph.D., at 718-393-1104