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Psychgeist of Pop Culture: Discworld

Raffael Boccamazzo, PsyD


While the Discworld series is ostensibly satire of other fantasy and science fiction works, it takes little digging to notice poignant themes in each book and throughout the series. In many ways, Pratchett’s books – and the Discworld books particularly – might be viewed as the Shakespearian fools of science fiction and fantasy: delivering poignant truths through a seemingly harmless, ostensibly lighthearted, comedic framework. The Psychgeist of Discworld will examine the themes within this series through a psychological lens in a manner that is accessible to both serious scholars and lay readership interested in a more in-depth look at this popular and prolific series of books.

Chapter 1.Introduction (Raffael Boccamazzo)
Chapter 2. “Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving”: Learning and Identity Development (Caroline Pitt)
Chapter 3. Both or none at all: Apprentice witches and Role Theory (Monique Hill)
Chapter 4. “Have I achieved worth?”: The Journey Towards a More Internally Stable Self-Image (Kelli Butler)
Chapter 5. “How are you” means “Hello”: Social Masking Versus Adaptation (Shawna Spain)
Chapter 6. Some kind of clockwork soldier: Motivation in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch (Chris Couperthwaite)
Chapter 7. Tunnelling against the current: Empowerment in the Face of Systemic Opposition (Andrew Brazzale)
Chapter 8. Drunkenness, sobriety, resilience, and fun: Perspectives on Alcohol (William F. Chaplin & Lindsay Arader)
Chapter 9. First sight and second thoughts: From Cognitive Dissonance to Perspective Transformation (Matthew Whitby)
Chapter 10. Humans need fantasy to be human: Belief and Stories in Psychological Well-Being (Raffael Boccamazzo)

Coming Soon

Raffael Boccamazzo, PsyD (more affectionately known as “Doctor B”) is a psychologist and the clinical director of Take This. He has served in this role since 2015 overseeing many of Take This’ educational and public-facing programs, also applying his perspective as an autism and ADHD self-advocate. Outside his work with Take This, Doctor B is an expert on the applied use of tabletop role playing games in clinical and learning settings and is the co-creator of a pantheoretical model on their applied use. He is also a chapter author in the book Video Games and Well-being: Press Start, co-authored Gardens of Fog – a best-selling, mental health-themed, charity, adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons, and is a frequent contributor – on and off camera – to the YouTube channel How to ADHD. An award-winning speaker and presenter in the game community, Dr. B leads dozens of talks and panels each year and has been featured in such media outlets as the New York Times and gaming publications like Game Informer, Kotaku, and VentureBeat.