Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication
Office Hours: By appointment
Ben Kafka is a psychoanalyst, cultural historian, and critic. His first book, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork (Zone Books, 2012; French translation 2013), explored the material, cultural, and unconscious origins of our conflicts with bureaucracy. He is currently working on a new book about children raised by their parents as experiments from the Enlightenment to the present day, tentatively titled Living Proof, and another project about the twentieth century's search for a grand unified theory of unhappiness. He's also working on a collection of essays on "analogocentrism" -- the metaphysics of paper, vinyl, and celluloid. He sees adult and adolescent patients in private practice in his office in Tribeca.
Prof. Kafka received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford, his research in Paris supported by a Fulbright. He then spent three years at the Princeton Society of Fellows. In 2007 he became a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities, where he currently serves as chair of its executive committee. He is a co-editor of History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History; a member of the editorial board of Grey Room; and a member of the advisory board of the Feminist Theory Archives at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown. He has held visiting positions at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, and IKKM Weimar. He is doing advanced clinical training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), a component society of the International Psychoanalytic Association, and is licensed to practice in New York State (NYS Lic. No. 19-000949).
He has cross-appointments in the Departments of History, Comparative Literature, and French