Christopher Bollas: Mini-Course and Residency at the Townsend Center Fall 2016


Apr 13, 2016

The Townsend Center for the Humanities is pleased to announce Unconscious Perception: A Mini-Course and Residency with Christopher Bollas. The seminar and residency will explore the work of the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today, Christopher Bollas, who will be scholar-in-residence at the Townsend Center in the first week of November 2016. Bollas is widely known for his pioneering, polymathic, and maverick investigations of unconscious perception of objects and the object world, including human beings—work that has been highly suggestive for many domains of the humanities and social sciences—and more recently for his exploration of fractured unconsciousness (anxiety, hysteria, breakdown, and schizophrenia). Prior to Bollas’s visit, we will discuss his published works (including The Freudian Moment, The Shadow of the Object, Being a Character, and When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia) as well as forthcoming and in-progress work that he will provide. Students will present their own projects to the group, and will develop questions to be tabled for seminars with Bollas himself and for one-on-one meetings with him during his residency.

Professor Whitney Davis (History of Art) convenes the three seminar sessions, which meet on Wednesday, September 21 and October 5, and Tuesday, October 18, all from 5:15 pm – 7 pm. Participants must attend all three sessions, participate in one-on-one meetings with Bollas, and attend the associated public events of his residency that take place daily from October 31 through November 4.

The mini-course is open to graduate students in any program, for 1-unit credit, either through the Department of Rhetoric (Rhetoric 244A), through the Department of History of Art (HA 298), or through the Department of Comparative Literature (CL 298). Advance communication with permission of the instructor required ( You may also contact the Townsend Center at