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June 29, 2015  

Civilization and its Discontents: A Marathon Reading

The Centre for Creative and Critical Thought at the University of Sussex together with the Freud Museum London are pleased to announce a marathon reading of Sigmund Freud’s classic text, Civilization and its Discontents, at the Freud Museum on Sunday 14 June.

Civilization and Its Discontents, written in 1929, remains the definitive text on human destructiveness. As news of wars around the globe, appalling brutality, religious conflict and sexual violence continue unabated, the relevance of this work is undeniable. ‘Men are not gentle creatures’ Freud wrote, ‘but ...creatures whose instinct [is] aggressiveness.’

The event is free with an admission ticket to the Freud Museum. There are no tickets and audience members can come and go as they please. This is a staged reading and interactive performance.

The reading will last in all approximately four and a half hours. At the end, after the Museum closes, audience members are invited to stay for discussion and light refreshments.

This staged reading revisits a classic text in a modern context, a face-to-face encounter for those hungry to engage with serious and pertinent ideas. A successful similar event took place in New York in January, and this is the first European marathon reading. Readers will include well known psychoanalysts, academics, writers, artists and performers. A list of confirmed names will be added shortly.

“To read Civilization and its Discontents in 2015 is to bear witness to the deadly violence whose daily presence is all-too-familiar to us and imagine the conditions that might provide a loving counterweight to that violence.” 
Simon Critchley, Philosopher.

Readers include:

Sara Jane Bailes, University of Sussex

Caroline Bainbridge, Roehampton University

Julia Borossa, Middlesex University

Peter Boxall, University of Sussex

Josh Cohen, Goldsmiths, University of London, psychoanalyst

Gerald Davidson, actor, researcher

Simon Glendinning, LSE, Philosopher

Anouchka Grose, psychoanalyst and author

Rachel Holmes, historian and author

Deborah Levy, novelist

Michael Molnar, researcher and former Director, Freud Museum London

David Morgan, consultant psychotherapist, psychoanalyst Bpas Bpa

Ankhi Mukherjee, University of Oxford

Cathy Naden, performer/writer

Dany Nobus, Brunel University London

Ruth Padel, poet

Jocelyn Pook, composer and musician

Eric Prenowitz, University of Leeds

Alan Read, King's College London

Caroline Rooney, University of Kent

Nicholas Royle, University of Sussex

Kalu Singh, author

Marquard Smith, Kingston University

David Williams, RHUL, writer, dramaturg

Timberlake Wertenbaker, playwright

Sarah Wood, University of Kent

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