The Ernest Becker Foundation
Upcoming EBF events
The EBF has active members in North America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, and Oceania. Every year, giving this widespread membership the chance to get to know each other face-to-face, we organize an October Seattle fall conference (from 1995 to 2004 called the LOV — for Love of Violence, and since 2007, UVTEC — for Understanding Violence: Tools for Educators and Communities).
We also sponsor smaller events, symposia, workshops, salons, and lectures to expand the discussion and advance the application of Becker’s synthesis. Write-ups of past events and promotions for upcoming events, when available, can be accessed through the links provided.
Unless otherwise noted, all prior events took place in Seattle.
Sheldon Solomon Event for Students
January MALS Seminar, Skidmore College
“A Cultural Animal in an Existential Age”
The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.
--Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun
Course description: An interdisciplinary
examination of how universal human existential concerns (death, choice/responsibility, isolation, meaninglessness) have been addressed at
different times in history, with particular
attention to modernity.
Texts: The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker
The Cry for Myth, Rollo May
The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death
in Life, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, & Tom Pyszczynski (Pub. date March 15, 2015)
Clock without Hands, Carson McCullers
More Info: www.skidmore.edu/mals
Daniel Sullivan in Seattle October 16
Since the birth of cinema a century ago, death, fear of death, and desire for immortality have been pervasive themes in movies from around the world. Ernest Becker—who has contributed profoundly to our scientific understanding of death anxiety—believed that films provide key insights into cultural concerns and psychological concepts. Drawing on our recent interdisciplinary volume Death in Classic and Contemporary Film: Fade to Black (2013; co-edited with Jeff Greenberg), I will consider several aspects of the intersection of death concerns and cinema, with examples from various films. Movies can contribute to death denial and even to violence, but they can also provide opportunities for serious engagement with the idea of mortality. I will conclude with a concrete example of Beckerian film analysis. Specifically, I will apply Becker's and Otto Rank's ideas about immortality concerns in modernity to films about the psychology of educators, such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972), and Waterland (1992).
At a Glance
Daniel Sullivan, Ph.D.
Thursday, October 16, 7:00 pm
Seattle U. Casey Commons 5th Floor
“Death in Classic and Contemporary
Film: Fade to Black”
Co-sponsors: Seattle U graduate psychology department
This event is free and open to the public. A donation basket will welcome your help.
General Info: 206-232-2994
Our Guiding Principles
"The root of humanly caused evil is not man's animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, deny our mortality, and acheive a heroic self-image. Our desire for the best is the cause of the worst."