The Scandal of Civil War: a Psychoanalytic Approach in Pictures


Conversation with Nadia Bou Ali (Bicar-Beirut/AUB, LEB), Damir Arsenijević (Literary and Cultural Theorist/ University of Tuzla, B&H), Rohit Goel (Bicar-Bombay/Institute for Critical Analysis, Art, and Design, Bombay, IN) In English with Arabic translation.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 | 7 pm

Media Lounge, Goethe-Institut Libanon

What can psychoanalysis offer to the analysis of civil war? Is there an alternative to the clinic of mourning in such context? And if so, what would the dismantling of the clinic of mourning look like? This panel discussion brings together two contexts, that of Bosnia and Lebanon, in order to consider the questions of civil war and its so-called post-war temporality.

The Scandal of Civil War

A psychoanalytic approach? is the third conversation of a joint event series on Critical Thought organized by Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR), Goethe-Institut Libanon and Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation – Beirut officeز

Damir Arsenijević is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is a literary theorist and a psychoanalyst in training. His artistic and theoretical interventions throughout Yugoslavia are located at the intersection of art-academia-activism.

Through these interventions, he initiates and holds community meetings in public spaces during which communities reconstruct the stories of violent privatization of the commons, of war, and of genocide.

He is a founder of the art-theory group "Jokes, war, and genocide" and the Psychoanalytic Seminar Tuzla (


His latest book was “Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Fight for the Commons” published by Nomos Verlag in 2014. Currently, he is working on a book and archive entitled "Love after genocide".

Rohit Goel is Professor of Critical Analysis, Art, and Design and Director of Programming at the Institute for Critical Analysis, Art, and Design, Bombay. His research employs Marxian and psychoanalytic methods to analyze the historical emergence of capitalism and the nation form, with an emphasis on the Middle East. 

As a Fulbright Scholar and Mellon Fellow, he spent seven years in Syria and Lebanon studying Arabic and conducting ethnographic and archival research. He is the co-editor of Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Sex, Politics (London: Bloomsbury, 2019). Rohit has developed and taught courses in continental psychoanalysis and philosophy, critical theory, history, political economy, social theory, as well as writing style, argument, and logic, at the University of Chicago, Sciences Po (Paris and Menton), the Chicago Centre in Paris, the American University of Beirut, and Jnanapravaha Mumbai. He received a BA in Social Studies from Harvard College and, as Harvard’s Paul Williams Fellow to Emmanuel College, an M.Phil. in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. He was awarded an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

The conversation will be chaired by Nadia Bou Ali, member of BICAR and Assistant Professor at the Civilization Studies Program at the American University of Beirut, she is co-editor of Lacan contra Foucault, subjectivity, sex, and politics(Bloomsbury 2018), and author of Hall of Mirrors: psychoanalysis and the love of Arabic (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming Feb 2019). Her research interests revolve around: modern Arabic intellectual history, Critical Theory, and Psychoanalysis.

About Bicar
Established in 2015, the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR) aims to promote critical thought and analysis with a special focus on studying manifestations of modernity in Lebanon and the Middle East. BICAR provides a platform for researchers, academics, artists, writers, students, and interested members of the public to engage with social, cultural, and political developments, and is committed to the relationships between intellectual inquiry, social reality, and social change.

Previous to the public event at Goethe-Institut Libanon, there will be a closed workshop on the 19th of June from 4-7 pm on the topic taking place at Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation – Beirut Office. If you wish to participate in the closed workshop, please register to the following email [email protected]