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Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Events |

‘Irony at the Crossroads’ PA Conversation Evening with Professor William Kolbrener

THURSDAY 11 JULY 2013:  8.30 pm (doors open at 8.15 pm) 


Speaker: Professor William Kolbrener 

Irony not as a literary trope but as a sensibility, has been increasingly invoked by post-Freudian thinkers, yet that conception of irony, both in its clinical application and more theoretical formulations varies greatly.  For Jonathan Lear, irony is part of therapeutic action, a disruption that inevitably leads to psychic unity; for Adam Phillips, by contrast, irony undermines the myth of the unified self, and with it any conception of unity. Reflections on competing conceptions of irony in Lear and Phillips will, I hope, lead to conversations about the conceptions of the psyche and its possible transformation, as well as the conceptions of culture that flow from it.

William Kolbrener’s newest book, Open Minded Torah: Of Irony, Fundamentalism and Love was published by Continuum in 2011. An American born writer and scholar, with degrees from Oxford and Columbia, Kolbrener lives in Jerusalem and is a professor of English Literature at Bar Ilan University in Israel. His ‘Letter from Israel’ appears regularly in the ‘On Faith’ section of the Washington Post. His Milton’s Warring Angels, an internationally acclaimed work on the author of Paradise Lost, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1997, and he co-edited a volume on the British proto-feminist Mary Astell Ashgate in 2008.  Kolbrener’s scholarship has been recognized by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation, the Einstein Forum, the Milton Society of America, and the Society for Early Modern Women. Kolbrener has written in major scholarly journals in literature, history, theology, psychoanalysis, and cultural criticism.  He has also written on Jewish topics in Commentary, Azure, JQR, the AJS Review,Tradition and many other Jewish publications.

Venue: 4 Marty’s Yard, off Hampstead High Street, London NW3 1QW 

Refreshments available

ENTRANCE:  Members free     Non members £3 

Further information from the Administrator on:      Tel: 0300 123 1708