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Social Therapeutics: A Search for Method for Our Times | February 21 - May 21

Thu, February 21, 2019

through Tues, May 21, 2019

A 12-Week Developmental Challenge

Dates: February 24 - May 21, 2019
Hosted by: East Side Institute
Presenter: Lois Holzman & Guests

The world is a wicked stage upon which we all perform our lives. The paradox of people trying to perform decent lives on a wicked stage sometimes becomes overwhelming….But although the stage is wicked it does not follow that life is wicked. --Sir Malcolm Muckeriex, A character in Fred Newman’s play, Life Upon the Wicked Stage

We live in chaotic and some would say dark times. It often feels daunting to come up with tools to move forward. The familiar tools do not seem to be yielding humane results. This calls into question our understanding of tools and their results. In their provocative 1997 book Fred Newman and Lois Holzman called for “The End of Knowing” and proposed a new conception of tool, of understanding and of development—social therapeutics. Now some twenty years later their radical philosophizing and grassroots organizing are more relevant than ever, offering a positive, creative way forward on the wicked stage of the 21st century.

In this advanced, 12-week course we will explore the foundations of Newman and Holzman’s social therapeutics and its current practice. Led by Institute co-founder, Lois Holzman, the course will include guest faculty whose work in diverse communities and environments in the US and internationally is strongly influenced by this approach.

In this course we will explore:

  • The improvisational performance of developmental learning
  • The collapse of contemporary liberalism
  • Mental illness and alienation
  • The performatory dialectic of being-and-becoming
  • Human activity—practical-critical, tool-and-result, revolutionary
  • Performed emotive conversations

A hallmark of the Institute’s study programs are its participants—coming from every continent and multiplicity of fields. We welcome applicants — researchers, scholars and practitioners — from a range of disciplines.

We begin with a five-week intensive study of Newman and Holzman’s The End of Knowing: A New Developmental Way of Learning, which addresses the practical question of how to reconstruct our world in the wake of modernism’s colossal failure to solve social problems.

With the support of presentations by, and intensive dialogue with, guest faculty,
we continue with an exploration of contemporary on-the-ground projects that incorporate playful philosophizing and social therapeutics in their daily activity.

Create the Conversation:

  • Conferencing —Every other week Zoom conference calls and live sessions with guest faculty.
  • Online discussion — Ongoing and continuous discussion on source materials, assignments and the work of guest faculty. It's asynchronous so you can read and post at any time.

Applications accepted ongoing - only a few spaces available! 

For an application go to:

Registration fee:
 $525, and will be invoiced once you receive your acceptance.

For information email: [email protected]