Stephen Sonnenberg

Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg, adjunct professor for the School of Architecture and the  Plan II Honors program, is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association last Friday. Sonnenberg’s desire to help people in addition to his love of humanities was the inspiration for his research in psychoanalysis.

Photo Credit: Claire Trammel | Daily Texan Staff

Adjunct architecture professor Stephen Sonnenberg received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association in New York last Friday.

Sonnenberg was presented the award for his contributions to psychoanalysis and service to the association. 

Psychoanalysis, a field which was founded in the late 19th century by Sigmund Freud, is based upon the idea that some disorders that manifest as physical or psychological conditions are caused by the unconscious. 

Sonnenberg, who has studied psychoanalysis for more than 40 years, said he first developed an interest in the field while attending medical school.

“It was a combination of wanting to help people, feeling I could do that as a physician and, at the same time, having a love of the humanities,” Sonnenberg said. 

Even though he is a medical doctor, Sonnenberg said psychoanalysis applies to architecture by promoting health and well-being through a physical environment. Sonnenberg said understanding psychology allows architects to be more creative and artful in scientific design.

Sonnenberg co-taught an architecture course last year that established the Veterans Community Park and Pavilion project. The project aims to use architecture and psychoanalysis to contribute to the wellness of post-combat veterans and their families,

Professor Tom Palaima, who teaches the plan II honors junior seminar course “The Myths of War” with Sonnenberg, said Sonnenberg shows passion for the human intellectual process and brings a deep sense of the health of the human spirit to the course.

“This really is one of the highlights of my career — to teach with him,” Palaima said.

Brina Bui, plan II honors and biology junior, first met Sonnenberg her sophomore year. Bui said auditing the architecture course Sonnenberg co-taught broadened her educational experience.

“It was really cool just seeing … a more artistically creative approach to [medicine],” Bui said.

Sonnenberg said in the future, he would like to contribute to the development of the medical school on campus and hoped psychoanalysis would become an integral part of the University. 

“Psychoanalysis has been in existence for more than a century, but it continues to evolve,” Sonnenberg said. “I feel that today’s version of psychoanalysis deserves a place on the research university campus. I hope that my work here at UT has convinced my colleagues that it deserves that place.”

Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh speaks Thursday evening at the 2012 Julius and Suzan Glickman Lecture. Hersh, well known for his criticism of the U.S. government, spoke about the state of the global war on terrorism.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

Today’s war on terrorism originated from an idea pushed by a president that terrified his country, said award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh.

Hersh, contributor for The New Yorker and Pulitzer Prize winner, visited campus Thursday evening to give a progress report on the state of the global war on terrorism as this year’s speaker for the 2012 Julius and Suzan Glickman Lecture.

“When other countries like Spain, England and India were attacked by terrorists, they responded using their justice system instead of military action,” he said. “We should’ve done the same, but we got caught up in Bush’s unjustified idea of what was going on.”

Best known for his investigative journalism, Hersh received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for his exposure of the My Lai Massacre, in which the U.S. government covered up the killing of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians at the hands of American soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Stephen Sonnenberg, adjunct professor for the University’s Humanities Institute, said few individuals have the courage and conscious to expose a government that is acting against its society’s culture.

“It takes a very special person to uncover what Seymour did,” Sonnenberg said. “Optimism is an evolutionary phenomenon, and his work pushed for it.”

Summarizing the United States’ current relationship with the Middle East, Hersh said the Obama administration hopes to get out of Afghanistan before being “the last to die,” and Pakistan is under control. He said Syria is “an ugly picture,” and Iran and the U.S. want to avoid a preemptive Israeli attack against Iran.

“The Israelis have pulled down our pants,” he said. “We are just playing checkers while they are playing poker.”

Hersh is known for criticizing the U.S. government in his books on the war on terrorism. The United States should not be deemed a reflection of presidential decisions that were not fully thought out, Hersh said.

“We are not morally bankrupt,” he said. “We just have lousy leadership.”

Hersh praised today’s youth and said the Arab Spring was proof that younger individuals are learning that the key to bringing down an oppressor is in organizing themselves against it, even if it’s through Facebook and Twitter.

A governmental crackdown on the First Amendment through laws being passed in Congress will leave society on the streets, but the internet’s impact on the industry already has everyone running around, he said.

Hersh’s uncanny ability to find factual information not presented by the government or the press demonstrated society’s misguidedness, said Julius Glickman, UT alumnus and founder of the lecture series.

“His knowledge is proof that we aren’t getting as many of the facts as we need to make the right decisions,” Glickman said. “We need 10,000 more journalists like him.”