Skip to main content
Event Details

Renata Salecl: On Anxiety

15 October 2019
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEDT
Roundhouse, UNSW Sydney
This event has ended
Photo of Renata Salecl

Due to a family emergency, Renata Salecl is no long able to travel to Australia and the event Renata Salecl: On Anxiety has been cancelled. 

Is our attempt to abolish anxiety making us anxious?

We are in the midst of an anxiety epidemic. It’s not surprising when the 24-hour media cycle force feeds us news of climate chaos, mass shootings, and the polarisation of politics. In our search for solace, the once marginalised voices of anti-vaxxers, flat earthers and climate denialists have become mainstream. So why does ignorance flourish in times of social unrest? Does the media cover anxiety or cause it?

Philosopher Renata Salecl unpacks our panic-stricken culture and ever-anxious minds, questioning who and what is responsible for the cultural phenomenon of anxiety today. Renata Salecl is a Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis of Law at the University of London. She questions whether anxiety really is the ultimate obstacle to happiness, suggesting that perhaps the real cause of our ever-increasing anxiousness is our attempt to get rid of it.

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and is a part of The Big Anxiety 


Wheelchair Accessible

The Roundhouse is located at UNSW Sydney's Kensington Campus, E6 on this map (PDF). You can be dropped off close to the Roundhouse north entrance (D5 on map). Vehicles need to arrive via High Street, Gate 2, follow the road to Third Avenue and turn onto 1st Ave West. The closest accessible parking is available in the Western Campus Car Park on Anzac Parade (G2 on map). 

Hearing Loop Available


The Centre for Ideas can provide Auslan interpreting services for selected talks upon request. 


To discuss your access requirements and to book selected access services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9385 1000 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9385 1000. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9385 1000. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9385 1000.

Renata Salecl portrait photo

Renata Salecl

Renata Salecl is a Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis of Law at the University of London and a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her book Tyranny of Choice (2011) has been translated into 15 languages and her associated talk was featured at TED Global. Her previous titles include: The Spoils of Freedom: Psychoanalysis and Feminism After the Fall of Socialism (1994), (Per)versions of Love and Hate (1998), and On Anxiety (2004). Her forthcoming book, Passion for Ignorance explores various forms of denial and ignorance and proposes a way to understand why people have grown to possess a passion for ignorance rather than knowledge.

Photo by Domen Slana.

For first access to upcoming events and new ideas

Explore past events