Coronavirus, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy Conversations on Pandemics, Politics and Society
Edited By Fernando Castrillón, Thomas Marchevsky,
London Routledge 2021, ISBN 9780367713669
Originally published in the European Journal of Psychoanalysis (EJP), the essays in this volume are a set of responses to the coronavirus crisis by distinguished philosophers and psychoanalysts from around the globe.
The coronavirus irrupted making swift and deep cuts in the fabric of our existence: the risks of contagion and indefinite periods of isolation have radically altered the functioning of society. Pandemics do not wait for comprehension in order to proliferate. Confusion, sickness, and death punctuate the failure of governments worldwide to respond. This collection of writings examines the effects of the pandemic and the conditions that make possible such a global crisis. The writers provoke us to consider how capitalism, governmental power, and biopolitics mold the contours of life and death. The contributors in this collection ignite urgent political dialogue, address emergent transformations in the social field and offer perspectives on shifts in subjectivity and psychoanalytic practice. Beyond providing reflections on the impact of the coronavirus, the authors point to determinants of how the crisis will unfold and what may be on the horizon.
This book will be invaluable to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, philosophers, and to all those interested in the implications of the virus for psychoanalytic practice and theory, and the social, cultural and political spheres of our world.
Sergio Benvenuto, Jean-Luc Nancy, Néstor Braunstein, Julia Kristeva, Roberto Esposito, Massimo de Carolis, René Lew, Dany Nobus, Duane Rousselle, Rocco Ronchi, Monique Lauret, Divya Dwivedi, Shaj Mohan, Elettra Stimilli, Zsuzsa Baross and Michel Foucault
“There are weeks when decades happen,” Lenin said about the Russian revolution. More than a century later, this collection of essays written by today’s finest thinkers, reports from within the trenches of the coronavirus crisis, speaking with urgency and fierce immediacy. Avoid this book like the plague if you wish to ignore our fundamental precariousness. Bristling with electric truth, this collection will offer another chance, new antibodies, a biobank for the future.”
– Patricia Gherovici, Psychoanalyst and author of Transgender Psychoanalysis
“The impossible has happened! Capitalism has been brought to heel by the force of a pandemic. What new thought does the virus make possible? What has the pandemic touched in all of us? As the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy reflects: “Does this mean we are in a better position to reflect on this community? The problem is that the virus is still its main representative; that between the surveillance model and the welfare model, only the virus remains as a common property.” And yet, this is collection of essays testifies to beginning to think together at the place of the virus, showing how it exposes the imbrication of politics and life, and the ever present denial of death that guides our violent compulsion to repeat. In a moment where life and death are being weighed anew, we need these public intellectuals more than ever.”
–Jamieson Webster, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, author, Professor at The New School
“Coronavirus has occasioned an outpouring of theoretical speculation. It has produced intellectual whiplash as it prompts conservatives to sound like leftists and leftists to echo conservative talking points. Here is a collection that will allow us to keep track of where everyone stands. Coronavirus, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy collects work from our most important theorists on the outbreak and puts them in dialogue with each other and with the most important thinkers from the past. The result is an absolute necessity for anyone hoping to gain a sense of where we stand today.”
– Todd McGowan, Ph.D., author and Professor at University of Vermont
“Covid-19 has undoubtedly been the phenomenon of our time – in the true sense of the phenomenal; it figures uniquely for all who encounter it and what we encounter when we encounter it is never a thing in itself, but is always overdetermined through the lens of science, of the social, the political, the medical, the conspiratorial. This exceptional collection of interactive essays captures this phenomenal moment in all its complexity, opening up the key question, which is not, what is covid-19? but is rather, what do we do with the multifaceted experience that is covid-19?”
– Dr Calum Neill, Associate Professor of Psychoanalysis and Cultural Theory, Edinburgh Napier University.
Fernando Castrillón, Psy.D., Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis, is a personal and supervising psychoanalyst, professor in the Community Mental Health Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and a member of the Istituto Elvio Fachinelli ISAP (Institute of Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis) based in Rome, Italy. He is the author of a book and numerous articles in both Spanish and English.
Thomas Marchevsky, Ph.D., is an editor of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis, has a psychoanalytic practice in San Francisco, California. He is Clinical Director of The Clinic Without Walls and an adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).