Ben Kafka

Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication

Ben Kafka

Office Hours: By appointment


Ben Kafka was originally educated as a cultural and intellectual historian. Since 2007 he has taught the history and theory of communication in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. In 2010 he started training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), a component society of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He has worked with patients at the IPTAR Clinical Center, the IPTAR Schools Program, and the NYC Free Clinic. He now offers psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy to a small number of adults and adolescents at an office in Soho.

Prof. Kafka’s first book, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork (Zone Books, 2012), explored the material, cultural, and unconscious origins of our conflicts with bureaucracy. He is currently working on a new book about the twentieth century’s search for a grand unified theory of unhappiness. He is a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and serves as chair of its executive committee; 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 cross-appointments in the Departments of History and French.



Grants and Awards



Courses Taught