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Psychosocial Studies Online Reading Group: Reanimating the Plague

26th November 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Lizaveta van Munsteren and Tom Fielder

Special introduction by Silvia Posocco

After a long summer hiatus, we are incredibly happy to invite you to join us at the monthly APS online reading groups where we will be coming together and discussing topical articles drawn from The Journal of Psychosocial Studies.

This month Lizaveta van Munsteren and Tom Fielder will be presenting their article, “Reanimating the Plague”, which is drawn from a special issue of the Journal of Psychosocial Studies on the Covid-19 pandemic. Silvia Posocco will briefly introduce the article, contextualising it within the special issue it is drawn from.

The article is available to download for free here


Abstract: The idea of ‘plague’ has returned to public consciousness with the arrival of Covid-19. An anachronistic and extremely problematic concept for thinking about biopolitical catastrophe, plague nevertheless offers an enormous historical range and a potentially highly generative metaphorical framework for psychosocial studies to engage with, e.g. through Albert Camus’ The Plague and Sophocles’ Oedipus The King. It is moreover a word which is likely to remain firmly within the remit of public consciousness as we move further into the Anthropocene, to face further pandemics and the spectre of antibiotic resistance. A return to plague also opens up the question of a return to psychoanalysis, which Freud is often cited as having described as a ‘plague’. Psychoanalysis is, like plague, a troubling and problematic discourse for psychosocial studies, but, like plague, it may also help us to work-through the disorders and diseases of Covid-times. In fact, if the recent pandemic has reanimated the notion of plague, the plague metaphor may in turn help to reanimate psychoanalysis, and we suggest some of the analogical, even genealogical resonances of such an implication.

All registered attendees should receive a link to join a Zoom call when registering for the event. A reminder email with the link will also be sent out the day of the event.


Author biographies:

Lizaveta van Munsteren (Zeldzina) is a psychologist with many years of clinical experience both in private practice and institutional settings. She completed her education in Russia and in the UK and currently is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research is dedicated to the vicissitudes of psychoanalysis in Soviet Russia 1930-1980. Apart from her clinical practice experience, Lizaveta is PGTA at UCL and TA and Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. Lizaveta is also a member of the Editorial Board of Vestigia journal.

Tom Fielder is a PhD researcher in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck. His research engages psychoanalysis, history, literature and politics, and is focused on the question of how to think about Brexit. He has published academic articles in History of the Human Sciences and the Journal of Psychosocial Studies.

Dr Silvia Posocco is a social anthropologist with interdisciplinary research interests in gender and sexuality studies and violence, conflict and genocide studies. She have studied ethnographically insurgent movements in Guatemala, the archives of transnational adoption across sites and temporalities, and most recently, forensic archives, bioinformation and cultures of evidence.


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26th November 2021
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Association for Psychosocial Studies