An animal of the forest

Education versus habituation in some stories by Kafka

  • Wed 31 Jan 18

    17:00 - 18:30

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Meg Harris Williams, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Open Seminar

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Debbie Stewart

Kafka identified closely with animal life and saw himself as an ‘animal of the forest’ or a ‘cellar-dweller’ – inhabiting areas of unconscious, sensuous, or primitive life in which meaning was generated that might or might not find its way through the civilized skull’s castle and fortifications.

Animal obscurity provided a fruitful metaphor for the unknowable state of fundamental human nature and its somatic voices.

In this seminar we shall be focusing on two contrasting animal stories –  Report to an Academy and Investigations of a Dog – one of which describes the tragedy of conformism and the other, the mystical illusion of scientific ignorance. 

The Speaker

Meg Harris Williams has published many articles in psychoanalytic and literary journals on the relation between psychoanalysis, art and literature, and is also a visual artist.

Her books include:

  • The Apprehension of Beauty (with Donald Meltzer; 1988)
  • The Vale of Soulmaking (2005)
  • The Aesthetic Development (2010)
  • Bion’s Dream (2010)
  • The Becoming Room: Filming Bion's Memoir of the Future (2016)

Meg teaches and lectures widely in this country and abroad. She is a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic and for AGIP and an Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Center of California. Read about her work.

Register your place

Entry is free and open to all.

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