5th International
ANALYSIS AND ACTIVISM
Conference

1. – 3. September 2023
Ljubljana, Slovenia

CALL FOR PAPERS

DO WE REALLY HAVE
THE ANSWER?

A PSYCHO-POLITICAL AGENDA
FOR INTERDEPENDENCE:
BRIDGING WISH AND ACTUALITY
IN AN UNHINGED WORLD

Conference organized by
ANALYSIS & ACTIVISM

in cooperation with
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY
SLOVENIAN ASSOCIATION FOR ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY

A&A
プリント
SZAP

“The world hangs on a thin thread,
and that thread is the psyche of man.”
– C. G. Jung

In the first twenty years of this 21st century, we have experienced major global events with unprecedented condensation and speed – terrorist attacks, wars, global financial crisis, and a still-ongoing pandemic, just to name a few – all of which have had a dramatic impact on the way we live.

In 1946, Albert Camus noted that the century in which he was writing presented itself as the “century of fear.”

How will the twenty-first century present itself and be experienced, especially given that, more than any other pressing issue, the reality and the manifestations of climate change permeates all aspects of our lives? Moreover, and unlike other pressing concerns, the very ubiquity and vastness of the dangers to, and compromising of, our shared ground of being, has resulted in a shared sense of overwhelmedness (that, for some, might result in a collusive non engagement).

In 2015, at the conclusion of the UN summit in New York, 196 countries signed the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its ambitious program was organized around five P’s: Planet, People, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership – themes to inform the political agenda of signatory countries in the hopes of transforming the world.

This UN-endorsed agenda strongly emphasized the promotion of human rights and the empowerment of women and other marginalized groups. However, in the more than seven years since the adoption of this agenda, by all accounts the signatory countries have all fallen woefully short of their stated aspirations and goals. What to make of this situation and what lessons can be learned going forward?

We, the organizers of the Analysis and Activism Ljubljana 2023 Conference, believe – following Boris Groys that “there are conflicts that the intellectual cannot escape, that force him into politics whether he wants this or not” – that social change on the scale contemplated by the UN Agenda calls for the conscious adoption and integration of two other, seemingly opposite, P’s: Psyche and Politics.

Jung wrote that “the world hangs on a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man.” Given this, what is our role as psychoanalysts and activists? Is psychoanalysis in and of itself an activist practice? What do we have to offer to today’s unhinged world? Can psychoanalysis be an active part for, and of, change? What can psychoanalysis achieve or realize, in the individual and in the collective, alone or with allies? And above all, is psychoanalysis an agent of change, and if so, in what way? How can the practice of psychoanalysis affect the socio-political-economical realm?

The German sociologist Ulrich Beck describes our current world as unhinged and out of joint and characterizes our current economic and social model of capitalism as “suicidal modernity.” In this context, he underscores that “[the] principle of nation sovereignty, independence and autonomy is an obstacle to the ‘survival of humankind’ and, as such, the ‘declaration of independence’ must be transformed into the ‘declaration of interdependence’: cooperate or die!”

Do the insights of analytic psychology and the practice of psychoanalysis have a role to play in facilitating the transformation, or transmutation, of separation, separatism and independence into interdependence, connection, and mutuality? Does individuation lead to an experience of the reality of interdependence?

In his Manifesto (2021), Andrew Samuels provides some ingredients for psycho-political activism: do not dwell in safe space, do not try to prove our theories right, and we need partnership!

We welcome submissions on the following themes, broad in scope yet grounded in the perspective of the union of psyche and politics:

  • People – rights, identity, migration, marginalized populations, etc.
  • Planet – climate change, the natural world, the environment, etc.
  • Peace – war, conflict, resolution, national identity, authoritarianism, etc.
  • Prosperity – neoliberalism, alternative economic models, alternative metrics for evaluating well-being, etc.
  • Partnership – interdisciplinary models and projects, etc.
  • Prevention – pandemics, global health, natural disasters, etc.

The aim of this conference is to present and share best practices about our private and collective work as analysts and activists, and specifically to look at where these two meet. We seek contributors to present their understanding of being a psychoanalyst and an activist, hopefully with more emphasis on the actuality than on mere wish.

We strongly encourage submissions from individuals belonging to countries and regions that have been historically and systematically underrepresented in the world of Jungian theory and practice, and in depth psychology more generally. Significantly reduced attendance fees will be offered to routers and candidates.

Send your proposals, in English, as a Word document to [email protected], including an abstract (of up to 300 words), a short biography that includes clinical and/or academic background, professional affiliations, and recent publications.

Submission deadline is 15th October 2022.
Please note that the conference will be held in person and in English.

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With warm regards,
Programme and Organizing Committee:
Stefano Carpani, Monica Luci, Tine Papič, Lilijana Rudolf, Alex Sierck

Analysis and Activism is an informal initiative (not affiliated to any existing structure) with a collegial relationship with the IAAP (International Association of Analytical Psychology) which has supported its conferences. Analysis and Activism it is a loosely organized group of mostly Jungian-oriented psychoanalysts and psychotherapists as well as scholars who are interested in the intersection of the psychotherapeutic understandings of human nature as expressed in the political life and action of individuals and groups. Some are particularly interested in being politically active in issues of social/psychological relevance where human abuses and injuries are occurring. Most are psychosocial analytic therapists, many of whom are affiliated as analysts and candidates with local organizations and with IAAP. Many are also consultants, teachers, writers and researchers in universities and analytical training institutes. The group is international and its primary mode of communication has been via an internet listserv, and through the organization of conferences and online forums for interviews and talks.

Analysis and Activism has a flat structure and no moderation. It is overseen by a steering committee as well as by its relationship with IAAP.

A “political turn” had been fermenting in analytical psychology and Jungian analysis since roughly 2000. This became possible only after Jungian communities began to engage with Jung’s politics, specifically around issues of race, gender, class/elitism. Analysis and Activism (A&A) is the manifestation of this “political turn.”

In case of events beyond our control, such as forecasted or actual storms, earthquakes, floods, war, threats or acts of terrorism, outbreaks of disease, or travel advice issued by any government agency or the World Health Organization relating to Ljubljana, it may be impossible to hold the conference in-person as planned. The conference will in that case be entirely streamed virtually and will not be cancelled. We will decide in May 2023 which format to adopt (in-person, online only, or hybrid).

Bibliographical references:

  • Beck, Ulrich (2016). The Metamorphosis of the World. Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Camus, Albert (2002). ‘19-30 novembre 1946 «Ni victimes ni bourreaux»’, in Camus Albert, À Combat. Éditoriaux et articles, 1944-1947, Édition établie, présentée et annotée par Jacqueline Lévi-Valensi, Gallimard, Paris, 631-672.
  • Groys, B. (2012). Introduction to Antiphilosophy. New York: Verso.
  • Jung, C.G. (1977). G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Samuels, A. (2001). Politics on the Couch. London: Profile Books.
  • Samuels, Andrew (2021, unpublished). “Title:Psychotherapy and Politics: A Cutting Edge and Transformative Contribution – OR A Narcissistic Total Waste of Time Only of Use to the Therapists”, in the Analysis and Activism TALKS!