London: Madeleine Davis Lecture 2019 – "Art and the Play of the Negative" Professor Josh Cohen

Saturday 30th November, 2019

10:00 am


The 2019 Madeleine Davis Lecturer

Professor Josh Cohen, Psychoanalyst

& Professor of Modern Literary Theory

Goldsmiths, University of London.

Winnicott emphasised themes of Doing and Being as crucial elements for mental life and relationships. Are there many possible meanings of what, on the surface, appear to be inactivity? How do we understand different forms of being and not-being, doing and not-doing.  When should we follow the imperative “Don’t just sit there. Do something!” and when will “Don’t just do something, sit there!” best guide us in containing ourselves and the needs and anxieties of others, and prevent unproductive or counterproductive activity?

Prof Cohen will present a development of themes from his 2019 book Not Working: why we have to stop in which he draws on personal experiences and clinical material, interweaving these with details of the lives of prominent figures  for whom inertia was a significant feature, to reflect on contemporary issues of life-style and living. His lecture title alludes in part to the essay on Winnicott by Andre Green and, in Professor Cohen’s own words “gives me the chance to flesh out some of the thoughts on art in Not Working, linking them both to the political and to Winnicott’s notions of play and absence”.

Venue: The Conference Hall, Ground Floor of the West Wing, St Pancras Hospital, 4 St Pancras Way, London, NW1 0PE

Tickets obtainable at the door on the day of the lecture. Doors open at 9.45 a.m. This lecture is open to all.

Squiggle Members £25.00, non-members £35.00, Students and unwaged £15.00

Enquiries to The Administrator, The Squiggle Foundation

The nearest underground station is Mornington Crescent (Northern line). The nearest over-ground & mainline stations are at Camden, Kings Cross and St Pancras. There is also a free car park at the hospital.