Imagining the End: Thoughts on Mourning, Happiness and Radical Hope | Newberry

Imagining the End: Thoughts on Mourning, Happiness and Radical Hope

Part III: Exemplars and the End of the World
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

5 to 6 pm CT

Jonathan Lear
Open to the Public

This program will be held virtually on Zoom. Please register for free in advance here.

NOTE: You can also watch a live stream of the program on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.

About the Series:

Inaugurating the new David L. Wagner Distinguished Lectureship for Humanistic Inquiry Series, Jonathan Lear of the University of Chicago delivers three lectures on how our fears of catastrophe—from pandemic and climate crisis to political collapse—shape the ways we imagine the ends and purposes of human life.

Part III: Exemplars and the End of the World

In this final installment of our inaugural Wagner Lecture series, Jonathan Lear returns for a virtual talk about transience, hope, and psychoanalysis.

The end of the world has been on many of our minds. But though the threats of environmental catastrophe, political collapse, and virus-induced devastation are very real, there are also psychic costs of dwelling on these threats so insistently and anxiously. What is happening to us? And how are we to maintain our psychic health in such world-shaking times?

In his lecture, Lear will discuss the importance of “exemplars”–people who serve as models for behavior–as sources of resilience and durability in our lives. In addition to famous and shared exemplars, he will also consider the role of local heroes (for example, one’s fourth grade teacher).

About the Speaker:

Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor on the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, and Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Lear trained in philosophy at Cambridge University and The Rockefeller University, where he received his PhD. He also trained as a psychoanalyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. His work focuses on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present, and he is an important interpreter and defender of the philosophical dimensions of psychoanalytic theory. His books include, among others, Wisdom Won From Illness: Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (2017); Freud (2015); and Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006). In 2009, Lear received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The David L. Wagner Distinguished Lectureship for Humanistic Inquiry Series is funded by David L. Wagner and Renie B. Adams.

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Cost and Registration Information 

This virtual program is free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.