Fall 2016

Fall 2016

"Justice and Injustice in the Struggle Against Terrorism"

September 16th, with Karen Greenberg
Karen Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University’s School of Law and is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was educated at Cornell University and has a Ph.D. in History from Yale.  She is a widely respected voice on issues of national security, terrorism and civil liberties.  Her most recent books include: “Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State”, and “The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days” which was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The national Interest, and other major news outlets.

"The Islamic State and al-Qaeda: An Evolving Threat"
September 30th, with Richard Atwood
Richard Atwood joined Crisis Group in 2009 and is its multilateral affairs director and head of its New York office. He represents the organization at the UN and serves as policy adviser to the president, particularly on the Middle East and Africa. He also leads the organization’s work on non-state actors and transnational threats and was lead author of its special report "Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State", published in March 2016. Before moving to New York, he spent five years as Crisis Group's research director in its Brussels headquarters. Prior to Crisis Group, he worked for about fifteen years across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Latin America for the UN and other organizations, with extended periods in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria and Kenya.  

"The Presidential Election: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Candidates, Foreign Policy, Political Violence, and Terrorism"

October 28th, Election  Panel Discussion
Pythia Peay (Chair) is an author and journalist on psychology, spirituality and the American Psyche. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including: Utne Magazine, Washingtonian, The Washington Post, Religion News Service, and elsewhere. She is the author of several books including “American Icarus: A memoir of Father and Country” the iconic American story of her father, Joe Carrol. She is also the author of “America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture” a collection of thirty seven interviews with some of the world’s leading psychologists and psychoanalysts, including James Hillman, Robert Jay Lifton, and Judith V. Jordan on such issues as violence, addiction capitalism and counter terrorism. She has received awards for her work from The American Association of University Women and Women in the Media.

Paul Wachtel is a CUNY Distinguished Professor in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at City College and the Graduate Center. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia, and received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Yale. He is also a graduate of the NYU postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. He was a cofounder of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI) and is a past president of that Organization. Among his books are “The Poverty of Affluence” (1983), and “Psychoanalysis, Behavior Therapy, and the Relational World” (1997). His most recent works include: “Relational Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy” (2008), and “Inside the Sessions: What Really Happens in Psychotherapy” (2011).  He is a Fellow of Divisions 12, 29, and 39 of the American Psychological Association and was the winner of the 2010 Hans H. Strupp Award for Psychoanalytic Writing, Teaching and Research, the 2012 Distinguished Psychologist Award by Division 29 (Psychotherapy) of APA, and the 2013 Scholarship and Research Award by Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA.

Jessica Benjamin, is a psychoanalyst known for her contributions to psychoanalysis and social thought. She is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City where she is part of the faculty of the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She completed a Master of Arts on Social Theory at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. She further developed her feminist psychoanalytic analysis while completing a Ph.D. at New York University. She has authored several books including: “The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination” (1988), and most recently “Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis” (2013). Her work demonstrates the importance, power and contribution of integrating the personal into the political, the psychological, and the professional. She received the 2015 Hans-Killan-Award for her achievements in the fields of psychoanalysis, feminist psychology and the theory of intersubjective recognition. 

Jill Gentile, Ph.D. is faculty and co-chair of the Independent track at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, where she teaches on the topic of psychoanalysis and personal agency. She is Corresponding Editor at Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. Jill completed psychoanalytic training at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity in New York. Her clinical work has spanned child, adolescent, and adult populations, across day, residential, and inpatient settings. Jill is in independent practice in Greenwich Village, NY, and in Highland Park, NJ, and maintains ongoing clinical consultation /study groups for colleagues in both locations. She was awarded the 2014 Scholar’s Grant from the Psychoanalytic Society of the NYU Postdoctoral Program for a book project on Freud and Free Speech. She is the author of “Feminine Law: Freud, Free Speech, and the Voice of Desire”.

Charles B. Strozier, is a Professor of History and the Founding Director of the Center on Terrorism, as well as a practicing psychoanalyst.  Strozier has been concerned with issues of apocalyptic violence going back several decades, especially in relation to nuclear weapons. Strozier’s scholarship that bears directly on terrorism and apocalyptic violence includes Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America (1994); Trauma and Self and Genocide, War, and Human Survival, two companion volumes co-edited with the late Michael Flynn; The Year 2000: Essays on the End(1997), also with Michael Flynn; The Fundamentalist Mindset (2010), of which Strozier was the lead editor and contributed several chapters; Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and Experiences of Witnesses and Survivors. He was also author of the biography, Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst (2001).  Strozier was twice nominated for Pulitzer Prizes and has received a number of awards and prizes for his work.

"The Kurds, the Middle East, and ISIS"
November 18th, with David L. Philips
David L. Philips, is the Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He has also been a senior fellow and deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventive Action, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, director of the European Centre for Common Ground, project director at the International Peace Research Institute of Oslo, president of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, and executive director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation. Mr. Phillips is author of From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition (Transaction Press, 2008), Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco (Perseus Books, 2005), Unsilencing the Past: Track Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation (Berghahn Books, 2005). He has also authored many policy reports, as well as more than 100 articles in leading publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and Foreign Affairs.


"The Spymasters: The CIA, its Problems and Potentials"
December 2nd, with  Jules and Gedeon Naudet
Jules and Gedeon Naudet, are French-born American filmmakers. Both attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1995. The Naudet brothers were in the process of making a documentary on New York firefighters, following Antonio "Tony" Benetatos, a rookie firefighter or "probie," when on the morning of September 11, 2001, Jules accompanied several firefighters as they headed out to investigate reports of a gas leak in Lower Manhattan.  Jules and the firefighters had stopped at the corner of Lispenard and Church Streets when American Airlines Flight 11 flew right over them. Jules lifted his camera and was the only person to capture the plane flying directly into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  The documentary they made of the rest of the disaster is iconic.  Since then they have made other documentaries, including the highly regarded “In God's Name: Wisdom from the World's Great Spiritual Leaders.” Their most recent project is “The Spymasters” in which they interview every living current and former CIA Director (12 in all), from George H.W. Bush to Leon Panetta.  The conversations are frank and honest accounts of the successes—and failures—of the CIA in dealing with the ongoing threats facing the United States.  In this seminar we will view the documentary and the Naudet Brothers will then lead a discussion of its meanings. 

 The movie 'Spymasters' reveals substantial divergence of opinions among former heads of the CIA concerning the terrorism threat and counter-terrorism (CT) measures to address it. This diversity makes all the more puzzling the existence of a narrative common denominator among them: Paradoxically, each and every one of the interviewees seems deeply convinced that their CT methods were highly successful AND that the threat of terrorism has never been greater. The following paper attempts to shed light on the complex relationship between the factual and the fictional facets of counter-terrorism and traces some of the indeterminateness and ambiguities that might plague our field in general and the movie's interviewees in particular.