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Loneliness x Solitude - Cedric Williams on torture and therapy - confinement and freedom

May 4, 2022
6:00 pm

PhD students Sonia Yuhui Zhang and Cedric Williams discuss problems in fieldwork on Loneliness and Solitude.

Prolonged or intense experiences of solitude in a number of heterogeneous environments have been widely reported as producing similarly acute social, psychological, and somatic effects. These notably include perceptual disturbances, heightened sensitivity to stimuli, and emotional dysregulation. Such environments encompass wilderness areas, interrogations/therapies/experiments in sensory restriction, and solitary confinement in carceral and monastic settings. In solitude, relaxation and torture, freedom and confinement, pure light and total darkness seem to press together. What binds these seemingly contradictory spaces, places and practices to one another?

The Thoughtful Soul to Solitude Retires, Elihu Vedder
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, Public Domain.

6 East 16th Street, 9th Floor, Anthropology Lounge
Virtual (click for the Zoom link)