Hiding in plain sight

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Cinema, psychoanalysis and the history of brainwashing   Ian Christie, Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College, is a distinguished and influential cinema scholar. When Prof. Christie recently interviewed Daniel Pick about popular interest in brainwashing, their conversation quickly became a lively dialogue between two historians on mid-twentieth-century cinema’s fascination with psychoanalysis,… Read more »

Upcoming Workshop–Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions

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The Hidden Persuaders Project and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image cordially invite you to: Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions 3rd and 4th of July 2015, 10:00am-6:00pm Birkbeck Cinema 43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD London United Kingdom   The history of cinema, like the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychotherapy, percolates with… Read more »

Reflections on Enhanced Interrogation

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A scene depicting 'waterboarding' in the film Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

A scene depicting ‘waterboarding’ in the film Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)   By Ben Poore¹   When the Senate Intelligence Committee released their report on the CIA’s use of ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, Dick Cheney was quick to respond. (The report, Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, can… Read more »

Interview: Robert Jay Lifton on brainwashing and totalism

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In April 2014, Daniel Pick sat down with Robert Jay Lifton for a wide-ranging discussion about Prof. Lifton’s life and research.  In this first excerpt from the interview, Prof. Lifton speaks about writing his 1961 book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, which describes the processes of re-education (considered by some to be ‘brainwashing’)… Read more »

New doctoral studentship

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The Birkbeck History, Classics and Archaeology Department is pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded three-year doctoral grant to work on a project that falls within the scope of the Hidden Persuaders project. The doctoral studentship will be supervised by Prof. Daniel Pick, and funded by the Wellcome Trust. It includes some travel… Read more »

Interrogating minds in the Korean War

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In November 2014 the Hidden Persuaders project hosted Monica Kim, author of the forthcoming book Humanity Interrogated: The Wars over War in the Interrogation Room, 1942-1960 and assistant professor of history at New York University. In a seminar that was jointly organized with the Psychoanalysis Working Group of the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities, Dr. Kim… Read more »