On this episode of Rendering Unconscious, I speak with Dr. Walter A. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University. He is an actor and playwright, as well as psychoanalyst and theoretician. His many books include Art and Politics: Psychoanalysis, Ideology, Theatre. Pluto Press, London, 2007; Death’s Dream Kingdom: The American Psyche Since 9-11. Pluto Press, London, 2006; Get the Guests: Psychoanalysis, Modern American Drama, and the Audience. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1993; and Inwardness and Existence: Subjectivity in/and Hegel, Heidegger, Marx, and Freud. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.

He describes his current work in this way:

“My work, which is of a broadly interdisciplinary nature, has two unifying purposes: (1) a critique of the assumptions and concepts that underlie the humanistic traditions and (2) the construction of a radically new foundation for humanistic inquiry. That foundation is existentially grounded in what Paul Ricoeur calls “the subjectivity of the subject.” It is thus dedicated to a discovery of the psychological motives that shape every act of interpretation and an explanation of why those motives have been so persistently neglected and denied. My goal is to construct a process of reflection that challenges the understanding we have of ourselves and our activities. The series of books that I’ve written in pursuit of this project constitute a single order of thought, a dialectical unity of progressive complication in which each book concludes with the problem that the next book addresses.”

Rendering Unconscious Podcast is hosted by psychoanalyst Dr. Vanessa Sinclair, who interviews psychoanalysts, psychologists, scholars, creative arts therapists, writers, poets, philosophers, artists & other intellectuals about their process, world events, the current state of mental health care, politics, culture, the arts & more.

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The song at the end of the episode is “Mad Love” words by Vanessa Sinclair & Carl Abrahamsson. Music by Carl Abrahamsson. From the album CUT TO FIT THE MOUTH. Also available digitally at Bandcamp and all major streaming platforms.

Music for intro and outro of Rendering Unconscious Podcast by Carl Abrahamsson.

Artwork: Portrait of Amelia C. Van Buren by the great 19th century American painter Thomas Eakins.