Max Waterman: Cinema and the Therapeutic Double

Max Waterman (with discussant Samuele Collu) will be presenting a paper entitled: Cinema and the Therapeutic Double: Addiction Treatment and the Filmic Unconscious.Please email Julia Sizek ( by 2/22 to RSVP and for a copy of the paper. 

 Abstract: This paper meditates on a weak fragment of past ethnographic fieldwork in order to speculate on the background technical conditions of a particular configuration of therapy and memory. While the author was volunteering in a residential rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol users, he read an instruction manual describing a cognitive-behavioral therapy program which he, as a researcher, was barred from observing in action. This paper focuses on one particular exercise described in this manual, in which rehab clients are interpellated as cinematic subjects. In conversation with studies of the relation between cinema and life by Susan Buck-Morss and Friedrich Kittler, this paper claims that the flattened subject of behaviorist psychology becomes linked to therapeutic promises only on the condition of this subject’s prior interpellation as a being for whom life could be a movie.

Keywords: mediatization, cinema, psychology, therapy, addiction


Event details
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 15, 2224 Piedmont