Talia Sydney Katz

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Johns Hopkins U.

Grant number

Gr. 10319

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Katz, Talia (Johns Hopkins U.) "From the Clinic to the Stage: Psychodrama, Violence, and Subjectivity in Israel"

This research investigates the evolution of psychodrama in Israel, exploring how the ethics and aesthetics of theatre transform clinical thought on trauma and the self. Psychodrama is a mode of psychotherapy that invokes role-play games to rework the subject’s relationship to herself and others. Since the 1950s, psychodrama has served a central role in Israeli psychiatry’s response to catastrophic and everyday violence. Through 12 months of ethnographic and archival fieldwork, this research will develop an alternative genealogy of the concept of trauma, anchored in the psychodramatic formulation of the self as an ‘open, relational system of roles’ (Moreno 1987). First, by observing children’s and adult’s theatre groups in Lod, this project investigates how aesthetic technique produces reconfigures debates on trauma. Second, by tracking the impacts of role-play games on the self, this research studies the temporality and art of self-making under conditions of violence. It investigates if and how ephemeral action intervenes meaningfully within everyday life. Third, by creating an archive on clinical psychodrama’s development, this project explores how experiences of violence shape clinical technique. In so doing, this research offers novel conceptual resources for understanding how violence is absorbed into processes of self-making.