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How up to date are you on the projected impact of climate change on human civilization in the next 100 years? Once you look at latest predictions, quickly come back and listen to this interview with Sally Weintrobe, because she brings a much-needed, yet realistic sense of hope to what most people consider a dire picture. Weintrobe, a practicing psychoanalyst and Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London, organized an interdisciplinary conference of psychoanalysts, philosophers, scientists, and sociologists to address a burning question: why is knowledge of climate reality being so resisted? (The conference in its entirety is posted online in 6 parts here.)

Weintrobe contributed to and edited this book of essays by 23 authors, and it is an important document of current psychoanalytic thinking on the nexus of splitting, denial, reintegration– and love- in the context of how we conceive of nature. How are we split-off from our childlike affection for nature? How does neo-liberal capitalism promote alienation from nature and from others? What would it mean to engage with a realistic– and not grandiose– experience of nature and the impact of climate change, which allows for mourning and care? In discussion, Weintrobe offers touching examples of processing these questions, while also going in unexpected directions, such as analyzing sound production in “nature” films. All in all, Weintrobe’s project promises to inspire new perspectives on climate change and hope for action.

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Sociology] The Unhappy Divorce of Sociology and Psychoanalysis: Diverse Perspectives on the Psychosocial (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) is an edited volume. Its chapters document the central place of psychoanalysis in American sociology in the 1950s and sketch the backstory to that relationship. The core chapters expose the campaign waged by leading sociologists to discredit […]

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