To register, please click here.

Confirmed Speakers

Aisha Abbasi, Therese Aiello, António Alvim, Bill Auerbach, Lisa Baraitser, Guðrún Elsa Braggadottír, Nestor Braunstein, Fred Busch, Lindsay Clarkson, J Todd Dean, Loren Dent, Laura DeRubeis-Byrne, Isleide Fontenelle, John Kress, Guy le Gaufey, Helen Gediman, Jill Gentile, Patricia Gherovici, Jeff Guss, David Hafner, Adrienne Harris, Allison Heiliczer, Kristen Hennessy, Marsha Hewitt, Jonathan House, Carl Jacobs, Ben Kafka, Hannah Knafo, Robert Langan, James Lawer, Marie Lenormand, David Lichtenstein, Emma Lieber, Karen Lombardi, Lisa Lyons, Gorana Manetti, Karen Melikian, Álvaro Moreira, Donald Moss, Joseph Newirth, Carol Owens, Daniel Pick, Gérard Pommier, Jose Luiz Aidar Prado, Daniel Röhe, Pascale Rosenberg, Jason Royal, Kate Schechter, Aileen Schloerb, Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, Nermeen Shaikh, Jamie Steele, Marc Strauss, Stephanie Swales, Amy Taylor, Jann Tomaro, Honey Oberoi Vahali, Lynne Zeavin.

Preliminary Program

Pre-Conference program
Monday, 23 July-Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Optional three-day excursion along the south coast of Iceland.

Conference Program
Thursday, 26-Sunday, 29 July 2018 (specific times to be posted)

Thursday Morning/Afternoon Program

  • Psychoanalysis and Radicalization
    • Radicalization is a term that has had a noble history in both the arts and politics. What accounts for the success of the term "radicalization” nowadays in the manner that it is used? Is radicalization a gradual and continuous shift in stages towards a particular state or is it a discontinuous jump linked to an encounter? How is death always the telos or underpinning of what we call radicalization? Do suicide bombers differ from religious martyrs? Are mass killers distinct from jihadists? How do we think about the role of the media and the internet in this phenomenon? What is the importance of ideals and ideology (political or religious) when considering radicalization? Is terrorism an eternal "disease" of young people currently being used by jihadists? Or is it the religious ideology of jihadism that creates martyrdom? What is meant by "de-radicalization" beyond a potentially self-deceptive sense of the power of human good?
  • Psychoanalysis and the Environment
    • In our lifetime, the vegetation covering the land has been radically altered, the chemistry of the oceans has changed, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has soared, and the temperatures have increased across the globe. It is now clear that the tremendous transformation of the natural world, with profound effects on plants, animals, and natural habitats, is primarily the result of human activities.

      Should the field of psychoanalysis be concerned that the climate is changing and that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, characterized by the dominant influence of a single species on the rest of the earth? Psychoanalysts have spent far more time thinking and writing about our internal worlds and our own creation, whether mental or artistic, than on the experience of our dependence on, and kinship with, the non-human environment. Psychoanalysis has a long-standing interest in the ways humans are governed by irrationality. We know that unconscious fantasies and anxieties shape and affect our relationship to the external world, but we have not devoted sustained attention to how these fantasies influence our experience of our integral place in the natural world. Unconscious processes and primitive anxieties interfere with human recognition of global environmental change and can disrupt the arousal of reparative action to mitigate the destruction of the fragile ecosystem within which we live. This panel raises the question of the role of psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts in considering, and engaging with, environmental questions today.

  • Psychoanalysis and Food
    • Nowadays, ironically, the extreme preoccupation with eating healthily itself can lead to severe malnutrition and death. Despite ongoing concern with clinical phenomena like anorexia and bulimia, we fail to adequately notice that these “dis-orders” are also at times, constitutive of a painful enjoyment. We need to think anew about the contemporary subject’s relationship to eating and food in a time when new “diets” and “eating disorders” appear to emerge on a weekly basis, when our eating is knotted to questions of identity, morality, and ethics as much as to aesthetics and form, as much to economics, ideology and politics as to pathology, and not least when “ordinary” discontents around food and eating are shaped by “normative enforcements” of notions of choice witnessed in faddish fasting, weight-watching, and incessant dieting. Psychoanalysis has, at times, been effective in identifying disorder masquerading as order, and here, too, this panel will address the problem of food by considering anew the subject’s relationship to it.
  • Psychoanalysis and the Uncanny
    • Description forthcoming.

Thursday Evening, Friday, and Saturday Panels

  • How Does Psychoanalysis Work?
    • Psychoanalysis works on the patient and the analyst, though there is little agreement about how, in what way, and of what significance this has. And when something works, how do we know that it is an effect of the psychoanalysis? What this work is, how we define it, how it happens, and if it matters, will be the subjects of this panel, which builds on one of the same name from our 2014 conference.
  • Psychoanalytic Norms and Their Discontents
    • From its beginnings, psychoanalysis has been a bundle of contradictions, nowhere more so than on the question of norms. In his first paper on the subject, Freud insists on the need for institutional regulation of analytic practice to curb the spread of “wild analysis”, even as he praises the “wild” intervention as more useful than anything the then-prevailing “standard of care” had to offer. Arguably, things never got any clearer. Practiced around the world today, psychoanalysis still faces challenges over the question of norms, whether within its own institutes or in the larger world of mental health care; in defining the “analyzable” subject or in coming to terms with the regulatory agencies of the “psy” fields; in determining what makes one an acceptable analyst (or analysand) or what makes an analyst a productive mental health professional in the eyes of the world outside psychoanalytic institutes. And then there is the question of norms in everyday analytic practice: from Freud’s 60-minute, 6 day-a-week analyses, each lasting a matter of weeks or months, to Lacan’s brief sessions and Kohut’s decades-long treatments, even the norms of length of treatment have been wildly variable. If we start to think about other norms of practice, such as techniques of intervention or the defining features of “control” cases and training analyses, we see normative discontents everywhere we look. What drives the constant focus on norms in psychoanalysis? What makes psychoanalysis such a problematic field for the larger mental health world, where it is routinely dismissed as not “evidence based”? Why, if it is so controversial, does it remain a viable force in that world? In other words, why has it not been killed off already? These are some of the questions we hope to address in this panel.
  • Narcissism: All That Unites Us
    • In her 2012 plenary address to the American Psychoanalytic Association, Judith Chused described the lack of attention paid to the narcissistic desire of the analyst to have her words accepted or heard. She connected this to the neglect in the conceptual history of psychoanalysis regarding narcissism. The tension in the literature between narcissism as pathological and self-preservative, rather than generating a usefully complex concept, has instead been excessively politicized, finding its most frequent use as a term of derision, rather than a means toward understanding. This panel will reflect on the conceptual history of narcissism and link that history to questions of how narcissism mediates the functions of the psychoanalyst at the levels of theory, practice, and institutional belonging.
  • What Constitutes An Interpretation?
    • Freud struggled with two ideas about interpretation throughout his career: making the unconscious conscious and filling in gaps in memory. Concepts of interpretation have evolved in parallel with the evolution of psychoanalytic theory. In this panel we would like to understand how each of us conceptualizes the process of interpretation as a reflection of theory.
    • The following questions may provide a common perspective for our papers and a lively discussion.
      • How does your concept of interpretation differ from Freud’s concept of construction and Strachey’s mutative interpretation?
      • What do you consider the goal of interpretation?
      • What are the roles of equivocation, enigma, and inexactness in interpretation?
      • Can you illustrate your concept of interpretation?
      • Bion’s concept of the container contained shifted the focus of interpretation from content to process, emphasizing the importance of the analyst’s reverie and the goal of facilitating the patient’s capacity to make meaning. How do you use your own reverie in interpretation?
      • Lacan’s concept of the analytic act and the intersubjective emphasis on enactment describe non verbal process which make the unconscious conscious. How are these non-verbal processes part of your work of interpretation?

Sunday Program
A case presentation of child analysis will be followed by a panel and a Q&A.

Optional Events

  • Dinner lecture
  • Film screening and panel discussion
  • Opportunities to interact with the local mental health and academic communities

To register, please click here.