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Reading Group

We are launching a monthly Tomkins reading group for our members (if you have not already done so, you can renew your membership for 2021 here: www.tomkins.org/product/membership/).

Readings will include not only the work of Tomkins but of other researchers related to Affect Script theory. These will be relatively casual interactions, but participants are expected to have, at minimum, a mid-level knowledge of Tomkins’ basic ideas, particularly affect theory and the innate activator model. Sessions will be held the last Monday of each month at 7:30 pm and will last 90 minutes.

Please see the schedule of readings below. Many are available for download, while the books included will have to be purchased or borrowed by participants (see the complete list of these below).

Should members be interested in participating, please signal your interest by completing our registration form here:

Tomkins, S. (2008). Affect, Imagery, Consciousness. Vol. 1. New York: Springer.


Aug. 29, 2022Tomkins, S. “Introduction: Consciousness and Affect in Behaviorism” (Chapter 1: pp. 3-16). Shapiro, B. (1999).

“Chapter 2 – Acting and Emotion”. Reinventing Drama: Acting, Iconicity, Performance. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing, (pp 71-92)*
Sept. 26, 2022Tomkins, S. “Drive-Affect Interactions: Motivational Information of Time and Place of Response–When, Where, WHat, to What” (Chapter 2: pp. 17-48).

Keen, S. (2006) “A Theory of Narrative Empathy” (pp. 207-225)*
Oct. 31, 2022Tomkins, S. “Amplification, Attenuation and Affects” (Chapter 3: pp. 49-60).

Gibbs, A. (2010) “After Affect: Sympathy, Synchrony, and Mimetic Communication”. In Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth (Eds), The affect theory reader (pp.186-205).*
Nov 28, 2022Tomkins, S. “Freedom of the Will and the Structure of the Affect System” (Chapter 4: pp. 61-82).

Monsen, J. and K. Monsen (1999) “Affects and Affect Consciousness: A Psychotheraphy Model Integrating Silvan Tomkins’ Affect- and Script Theory Within the Framework of Self Psychology” (pp. 287-305)
Dec. – no session


Jan. 30, 2023The Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Virginia Devos)
Feb. 27, 2023Tomkins, S. “Evolution and Affect”, (Chapter 5: pp. 83-94).

*Watts, J. et al (2016) “Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies”, Nature 532 (7598): pp. 228-31.
Mar. 27, 2023Tomkins, S. “Visibility and Invisibility of the Affect System” (Chapter 6: pp. 95- 112).

*Abramson, L. (2014), “CHAPTER 3 — Being Emotional, Being Human: Creating Healthy Communities and Institutions by Honoring Our Biology”, in eds. Kelly, V. and M. Thorsborne, The Psychology of Emotion in Restorative Practice : How Affect Script Psychology Explains How and Why Restorative Practice Works, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 84-104.
Apr. 24, 2023Tomkins, S. “The Primary Site of the Affects: The Face” (Chapter 7: pp. 113-134).

Barrett, L. (2022) “Facial Expressions Do Not Reveal Emotions”, Scientific American, April 27, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwin-was- wrong-your-facial-expressions-do-not-reveal-your- emotions/?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#E chobox=1652073135
May 30, 2023Lamia, M. (2022) Grief Isn’t Something to Get Over: Finding a Home for Memories and Emotions After Losing a Loved One. American Psychological Association. THIS SESSION WILL TAKE PLACE THE TUESDAY AFTER MEMORIAL DAY
June 26, 2023Tomkins, S. “The Innate Determinants of Affect” (Chapter 8: pp. 135-150).

*Holinger, P. C. (2008). Further issues in the psychology of affect and motivation: A developmental perspective. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 25(3), 425–442.

(* pdfs provided)