Art Spiegelman in conversation about “Comics, Violence, and Psychoanalysis”

Event in English

A cooperation between the Sigmund Freud Society Vienna and the Sigmund Freud Museum


Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 19 h

Library of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum and via Zoom


Participation is only possible online via Zoom, register here. The seats on site are already fully booked!

The New York comic artist Art Spiegelman is visiting the Sigmund Freud Museum on the occasion of the comic-exhibition Narrating Violence. In conversation with Viennese psychoanalyst Ulrike Kadi, the Pulitzer Prize winner will talk about his work and the socio-political significance of comics, violence (representations) and the overlaps between comics and psychoanalysis.

Art Spiegelman is probably the most famous living comic author who created a “work of the century” with MAUS – A Survivor’s Tale (1986 & 1991). In it, he tells the story of his father, who survived Auschwitz. By drawing the figures with animal heads, Spiegelman created a new approach to depicting the Shoah and the reality of the extermination camp. His work In the Shadows of no Towers (2004) is also characterized by a reflexive examination of trauma and the power of (media) images.

“The story of the present is so interwoven with the story of the past. Comics are a great way to show this,” explained Art Spiegelman in an interview in 2022. The ability of comics to use the means of defamiliarization to represent even the unspeakable is also of particular interest to psychoanalysis. Art Spiegelman and Ulrike Kadi will therefore also discuss the similarities and differences between comics and psychoanalysis.


Art Spiegelman, born 1948, studied cartooning in high school and began drawing professionally at age 16. He studied art and philosophy at Harpur College, New York State, before becoming part of the underground comix subculture of the 60s and 70s. In 1977, he published the first edition of Breakdowns (the second expanded edition came out in 2008). Together with his wife, Françoise Mouly, he co-founded and edited from 1980 to 1991 the acclaimed avant-garde comics magazine RAW where MAUS was originally serialized. They also edited several comic anthologies for children.

MAUS received several awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the Angoulême International Comics Festival Best Foreign Album Award, the Eisner Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Meta Maus, about why he wrote MAUS, came out in 2011. In the Shadows of No Towers, his account of the events of aftermath of September 11th, was a national bestseller in the United States. Spiegelman has received several awards in the US and abroad, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2015.  


Ulrike Kadi, psychoanalyst (WAP/IPA), philosophical scientist, MD specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapeutic medicine at the University Clinic for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy at the Medical University of Vienna and in private practice.


Supported by 


Click here for our event program.

Program Highlights 2024

You can watch a selection of our event recordings on our YouTube Channel.