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Digital Mediation and Working Through in Times of Denial, Disavowal and Splitting: On the Un/Representable

Date: Wednesday 14th September 2022 to Thursday 15th September 2022

Venue: St. Mary’s University, Twickenham

We live in a time that is characterised by increasing political polarisation, fake news, conspiracy theories and other forms of extremism. Recent political developments, such as the post-Trump moment, have been credited with an increase in political paranoia and conspiracy theories that have spread far and wide on the internet. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram exhibit high levels of misogyny, sexism and racism and are described as lacking in empathy, compassion and love. Traditional media, such as tabloid and broadsheet journalism or television news, also find themselves part of “culture wars” and torn between different political positions.

This symposium will explore what role psychoanalysis in combination with other disciplines, such as media and communication studies, philosophy and sociology, can play in analysing such phenomena, as well as finding possible solutions for them.

Do we need a new form of empathy or spirituality? To what extent are moments of denial, disavowal and polarisation necessary? Can they revitalise political culture and society more generally? What are their limits? What solutions can be found? How are they intrinsically connected to questions of digital mediation and representation? What tensions are revealed between what can be represented and what remains unrepresentable?


  • Dr Jack Black (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Alfie Bown (Royal Holloway University)
  • Dr Orit Dudai (Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts)
  • Assoc. Professor Jon Hackett (St. Mary’s University)
  • Assoc. Professor Jacob Johanssen (St. Mary’s University)
  • Dr Anthony Faramelli (Goldsmiths)
  • Dr Thi Gammon (Independent Scholar)
  • Dr Steffen Krüger (University of Oslo)
  • Dr Em. Sandra Meiri (Open University, Israel)
  • Dr Mark Murphy (Independent Scholar)
  • Professor Raya Morag (The Hebrew University)
  • Professor Candida Yates (Bournemouth University)

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