The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination
February 22, 2009 3:35 PM   Subscribe

"The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination was established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process." To this end they hold regular roundtable discussions, streaming videos of which are available online. Some past highlights include:

Psychogeography: The Landscapes of Memory (featuring Andre Aciman, Vito Acconci, and Russell Epstein)

Paraphilias (featuring Arnold Davidson, Richard Krueger, Linda Williams, and Susan Winemaker)

The Body and its Image (featuring Marina Abramovic, Paul Campos, Marcel Kinsbourne, and Sabine Wilhelm)

Hypergraphia and Hypographia: Two Diseases of the Written Word (featuring Alice Flaherty, Alan Jacobs, Jonathan Lethem, Francis Levy, and Pedro Reyes)

The Presumption of Rationality: Psychological Challenges to Legal Certainty (featuring Peter Brooks, Carol Gilligan, Nomi Stolzenberg, and Kenji Yoshino)
posted by jrb223 (6 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The center shares a space with the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. My dad is tangentially involved. Bernie Madoff was a major patron of the Philoctetes Center (trace some connections), and I seem to have heard that they are facing financial difficulties now that Madoff's fraud empire has collapsed. However, the other backers are wealthy enough that they should be able to keep it afloat.

Lots of interesting stuff; good post.
posted by grobstein at 3:47 PM on February 22, 2009

Lots of interesting stuff

I was especially struck by Living in the Musical Moment: Interspecies Jamming with Whales, Birds, and Humans...

Sounds like the premise to a T. Coraghessan Boyle story.
posted by ornate insect at 3:55 PM on February 22, 2009

The organizations' name is explained within and seems largely based on Edmund Wilson's essay

"The Philoctetes myth reappears in a book by Edmund Wilson called The Wound and the Bow: Seven Studies in Literature. Wilson modernizes the story, tying the wound to psychic trauma and the bow to the healing power of insight. And so the creative personality is the one who uses art as a way of transcending trauma. The artist chooses the road of insight over that of pathology. "
posted by Postroad at 5:47 PM on February 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Golden Age of Online Video Lectures (or talks or discussions or something).

(Great quote Postroad).
posted by stbalbach at 5:48 PM on February 22, 2009

Great archive and lots of interesting topics, thanks for the post!

Some of them seem a bit surreal, though, like a roundtable "The Future of the Stock Market" with... wait for it... Bernard L. Madoff!
posted by dnial at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2009

yeah, i've been to a bunch of these -- the institute is around the corner from where I live and they are typically thought-provoking with great speakers. i was saddened to learn that the madoff connection put them in jeopardy-- but they seem to be holding on, at least so far.
posted by Maias at 11:43 AM on February 23, 2009

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