This event is part of the Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson
Sunday, March 10
Ticketholders: A Zoom invite is sent out two hours before the event to the email used at checkout. Please check your spam folder and if not received, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A temporary streaming link will be emailed after the event concludes.
Modern Occultism and the Need for a Limitless Search, a talk with Mitch Horowitz
Even those of us who identify with outsider spirituality and culture harbor, invent, or import parameters of thought that limit and potentially calcify our search. Mitch considers the overwhelming pervasiveness of religious and metaphysical models of thought, culture, and reality—and how these things may restrict or predetermine your spiritual, ethical, and personal questions. In the West, for example, thought framings from the Abrahamic religions (Judaism-Christianity-Islam) are so overwhelmingly familiar that, by dint of repetition, they appear perimeters of physical and extra-physical reality. Other cultures experience similar phenomena.
What does it mean to investigate how models of actuality—including those possessing great antiquity—inform and confine our metaphysics? Are we able to search without preset spiritual concepts? How do inherited categories proscribe our personal identities as seekers? Mitch Horowitz is a PEN Award-winning historian who books include Occult America, The Miracle Club, Daydream Believer, Uncertain Places, and, most recently, Modern Occultism. His books have been translated into Arabic, French, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. His work is censored in China.
Invoking the Spirits: The Occult Influences in Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos, presented by Katrina Makkouk
Katrina Makkouk’s study of modernist poet Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos is a great introduction to the work of the poet in general, and to his masterpiece The Cantos specifically. Written in incarceration right after WW2, Pound’s Pisan Cantos show his desire to penetrate deeper into the mysteries of history, memory, and mythology.
Drawing from the occult inspiration from his early mentor, W.B. Yeats, Pound went into an inner exile to retrieve whatever he needed to banish the restraining outer circumstances, and to finish his epic poem. The how and why of magic can so often be mysterious and enigmatic. For some, it does not provide entrance into an unseen world such as those sought out by Yeats. Rather, it enables the user to link themselves to the past, present, and future, and to fully connect oneself to what is beyond the ordinary reality in which we find ourselves. These threads of memory and magic that are woven throughout The Pisans makes this set of cantos the most unique amongst the other stars of Pound’s epic writing.
Katrina Makkouk is an author and researcher who lives in California. She earned her Master’s degree in English from Clemson University. Her primary research interests include modernism and the intersection of occult philosophy and methodology in literature.
Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson curate the Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices, and folk magic traditions. By inviting psychoanalysts, philosophers, artists, writers, and occult practitioners from a variety of theoretical orientations and worldviews to discuss their work, personal experiences, and areas of research interest with one another, dialogue is opened up between practitioners in fields of study that traditionally rarely engage with one another though often operate in similar and complementary ways. Join them on Patreon!