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Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Eighth Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis and Social Change, Philadelphia, October 2002

The Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society
Eighth Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis and Social Change
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
October 25-27, 2002


The Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) is pleased to
announce its 8th annual convention, which will focus on the topic of "Emotion."

The conference will take place at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
on October 25-27.

We invite submissions that focus on the topic of "emotion."  Proposals for panels
are especially welcome.  Papers should be 20 minutes in length.  All submissions
should include
	(1) a title and abstract of 200-300 words for each paper, and 
	(2) the name, address, e-mail, and any institutional affiliation of each

The conference is interdisciplinary in character, and will include participants
from a broad number of academic fields, as well as from clinical practitioners
with diverse backgrounds and orientations.  Proposals are welcomed from a wide
variety of perspectives.  Papers addressing the social dimension of emotion and
its possible transformation are especially solicited.

The deadline for proposals is AUGUST 1.  


The question of emotion is highly ambiguous, and more hotly contested than ever
today, from neuropsychology and esthetic theory to the philosophy of the passions
and evolutionary psychology.  Surveying a range of contemporary opinion in 1917,
Freud recognized a fundamental impasse: "I do not think that with this enumeration
we have arrived at the essence of an affect."  As a subjective "state of mind"
(mood, stimmung) that is simultaneously a "physiological phenomenon" with a
"quantum of energy," emotion stands at the crossroads between the body and the
mind.  As a private, individual event, emotion is simultaneously regulated by
cultural forms of life.  As an experience with a symbolic dimension, emotions are
as much a part of social existence as rites or customs or artistic forms of
expression, yet they are simultaneously regarded as biochemical events, regulated
by psychopharmacology and explained by evolutionary theory.  Moreover, there are
classes of emotions, according to some proposals, such that some emotions have a
"group" character (shame and guilt are the classic, if problematic examples),
while others are said to contain an "ethical" dimension (pity and empathy, love
and hate), still others being regarded as more primitive and visceral.  And
recently, arguments in favor of the ethical value of the arts (narrative,
painting, music and other forms, which are themselves coded around the senses in
very different ways) have been countered by arguments in favor of evolutionary
explanations, based on the presence of emotion in animals -- an argument which
goes back to Darwin himself.  What can various clinical and academic perspectives,
grounded in psychoanalysis, bring to this tangled web of argument?

Possible topics include:
- emotion in art (how affective responses to esthetic phenomena complicate
  esthetic theory)
- anthropological perspectives (the so-called "social" emotions- shame, guilt, 
- group emotions
- psychopharmocology (biochemical perspectives on "depression" and "anxiety")
- biology (the question of emotion in animals)
- emotion between psychoanalysis and philosophy (Freud with Plato, Nietzsche, and
- emotion, rhetoric and politics (from Aristotle to Martha Nussbaum)
- esthetic emotion, from "pity and fear" to the "feeling" of the sublime, to the
  art of "disgust"
- particular emotions (anger, fear, boredom, love, melancholy, etc.)
- emotion, affect, and jouissance
- institutions of emotion (confession, catharsis, truth commissions, the
- anxiety (Freud and Heidegger, Stimmung, Befindlichkeit)
- emotion and time
- emotion and memory
- transformations of emotion (the logic of interventions in psychoanalysis and

Proposals and inquiries should be sent to the following two addresses:
Professor Charles Shepherdson
Department of English
State University of New York at Albany
Albany NY 12222, USA

-  or - 

Carmen Lamas
Program of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
720 Williams
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA