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YU News

Stewart Attends Conference

Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, associate professor of English, attended the Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization Conference that took place at the University College of Cork, Ireland, from Nov. 2-3, 2018.

The conference sought “to build bridges between Public Health and Social Thought by addressing ‘salutogenesis’ [a focus on factors that support human health and well-being rather than on factors that cause disease] and ‘sense of coherence’ [why some people become ill under stress and others stay healthy].” It featured 12 panels, five keynote addresses and two workshops.

Dr. Stewart was one of four members of a panel titled “Terror, Bliss, Grace, and Primitivism,” where she presented “Martin Luther’s Terror and Bliss,” about the profound influence the thought of Martin Luther has had on German culture and cultural production. In particular, it focused on the presence in Lutheran theology of what psychiatrist Gregory Bateson termed the “double bind,” a situation of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” that often causes life-altering mental illness in individuals and that has often been represented, however indirectly, in German literature that concerns itself with the rise of Nazism in Germany. (See her other work in this regard.)