24 Jan Knowing Terrible Things: Thinking the Unthinkable in Time of War
Martha Bragin (Hunter College School of Social Work, CUNY)
Thursday, January 24, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB
The discourse on psychosocial reintegration of combat veterans in the United States has largely been confined to discussions of the best treatment for those diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. This medicalization of lived experience may well be a mechanism of the social imaginary designed to defend the public against what we cannot possibly dare to know or be driven mad by: our own very real complicity as part of the polis, and the very ordinariness of so much of what goes on in everyday life whether in a war zone or out of one. Is being changed by intense experience of life and death really a disease from which we should be cured? How can it be true that the activities of war, that are so clearly known on some level by all of us, are still considered to be unknowable and unthinkable? Bragin will draw on psychoanalysis, literature and history to help us think the unthinkable in time of war.
Martha Bragin is an Associate Professor in the Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, CUNY. Her areas of expertise include psychosocial programs that support resilience in women, children, youth and families affected by conflict, disaster, and adversity. For the past 25 years, she has served as consultant to governments and international organizations on demilitarization and reintegration of soldiers following war, with special attention to women and children.
Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.