Violence & the Oedipal Unconscious: Book Launch

Book launch with M. Garcia-Granero, William Johnsen and Nidesh Lawtoo (Paris, 2023)

In this book launch of a diptych on Violence and the Unconscious, Nidesh Lawtoo, Marina Garcia-Granero and William Johnsen present the latest output of the ERC project Homo Mimeticus. Rather than entering the debate on media violence from a quantitative perspective, the book retraces the genealogy of the concept of catharsis that still informs, or misinform the popular imagination. The launch contextualizes the book within mimetic studies and discusses key thinkers of violence and the unconscious, from Aristotle to Nietzsche, Freud to Girard, among others. More information here:…

Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious: vol. 1, The Catharsis Hypothesis

In his latest contribution to mimetic studies, Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious (MSU P, 2023), Nidesh Lawtoo reframes current debates on (new) media violence by tracing the philosophical, aesthetic, and historical vicissitudes of the “catharsis hypothesis” from antiquity to modernity into the present via Aristotle, Nietzsche, Bernays, Freud, Girard, Morin among others. In the process, he outlines a new theory of violence, mimesis, and the unconscious that does not have desire as a via regia, but rather, the untimely realization that all affects spread contagiously and thus mimetically.

Chapter for Handbook of Mimetic Theory

In this chapter for The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion (eds. James Alison, Wolfgang Palaver), titled “The Classical World: Sacrifice, Religion, Philosophy,” Nidesh Lawtoo takes the work of René Girard, read with Friedrich Nietzsche, Jane Harrison and other philologists, as a starting point to offer a genealogy of the role sacrifice plays in the classical period. The patho-logy of sacrificial violence, Lawtoo argues, both confirms and supplements mimetic theory. You can read the chapter here.