Tomas Matza discusses Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity, and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia. He will be joined in conversation by Eugene Raikhel. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 — 6:00pm-7:00pm @ The Seminary Co-op
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About the book: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia witnessed a dramatic increase in psychotherapeutic options, which promoted social connection while advancing new forms of capitalist subjectivity amid often-wrenching social and economic transformations. In Shock Therapy Tomas Matza provides an ethnography of post-Soviet Saint Petersburg, following psychotherapists, psychologists, and their clients as they navigate the challenges of post-Soviet life. Juxtaposing personal growth and success seminars for elites with crisis counseling and remedial interventions for those on public assistance, Matza shows how profound inequalities are emerging in contemporary Russia in increasingly intimate ways as matters of selfhood. Extending anthropologies of neoliberalism and care in new directions, Matza offers a profound meditation on the interplay between ethics, therapy, and biopolitics, as well as a sensitive portrait of everyday caring practices in the face of the confounding promise of postsocialist democracy.
About the author: Tomas Matza is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Program in Modern Thought & Literature. His research interests extend across the subfields of sociocultural, medical and psychological anthropology, and touch on issues of mental health, political economy and global health, and theoretical considerations of subjectivity, care, expert knowledge and power.
About the interlocutor: Eugene Raikhel is the current director of CEERES and an Associate Professor in the department of Comparative Human Development. His book Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic was published by Cornell University Press in the Fall of 2016.
About the series: CEERES, pronounced /ˈsirēz/, is the acronym for the University of Chicago Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies. Together with the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, we are delighted to announce the launch of the CEERES of Voices Event Series, an author-centered series of readings and conversations on books from or about Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Eurasia, and the Caucasus. The books being discussed are identified in a various ways: through publishers’ contacts with the bookstore or through faculty requests to CEERES to host the author.
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