Call for Session Proposals – 2019 UCNCPIPC Meeting


Process Notes: Thinking With and Working Through
Influential Psychoanalytic Texts

For this year’s meeting, we depart from the usual thematically-organized weekend.  Instead, we will revisit a selection of seminal psychoanalytic texts, thinking with and working through them in light of the group’s current theoretical, clinical, and social concerns.  The goal is to revive the original mission of UCNCPIPC, finding ways to bridge the distance between the academy and the analytic clinical world through engagement with core issues in psychoanalytic theory and practice.

From its earliest days, the psychoanalytic tradition has been characterized by two interlinked concerns: the development of psychodynamic theory and the therapeutic challenges of the clinical encounter.  This has led to a unique two-way conversation between ideas about the mind and its dynamics on the one hand, and the realities of lived experience, individual suffering, and the shaping of subjectivity by the social world on the other. Those two dimensions have always fed the historical relevance of psychoanalysis as well as its timelessness. This is why, perhaps, psychoanalytic writing lends itself so readily to constant rereading, reinterpreting, reworking, and reprocessing.

We are soliciting session proposals from people who would like to facilitate discussion of a psychoanalytic text that is particularly meaningful to them.  Ideally, each proposal would identify one or two related texts (short enough to be read by everyone attending the session), that will be facilitated by one or two convenors. As always, the format is modelled on a seminar or workshop: a 10-15 minute introduction and orientation by the facilitators, followed by thoughtful group discussion.

What text would you like to share and discuss with others who are engaged in the common enterprise of applying psychoanalytic ideas to the larger world of scholarship?  What text has been particularly important in broadening your own thinking and/or clinical work?   What text seems to you relevant for understanding our present while powerful enough to transcend the frontiers of time?

While any reading can form the basis of a session, the selected text should—ideally—be one that not only has been, but continues to be, meaningful in bringing together psychoanalytic ideas and clinical, social, political, or cultural issues.  It should be a text that has served as a lodestar in your own intellectual and/or clinical development, and one that enables new or deeper insights, given changing theoretical, social, and clinical contexts. The only requirement is that you feel it would interest the group and lend itself to a process of discussion, reinterpretation, or critique by conference participants.

For example, several attendees have suggested sessions on the following texts:

  1. Laplanche, Response and Responsibility
  2. Loewald, On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-Analysis
  3. Bion, Attacks on Linking
  4. Benjamin, a selection from Bonds of Love
  5. Winnicott, Fear of Breakdown

We welcome proposals for additional sessions and look forward to a weekend of “working through” some of the texts that have most shaped the thinking and clinical work of our group members.


We welcome session proposals from both academicians and clinicians (including graduate students as well as psychoanalytic candidates), as well as others whose work significantly engages with psychoanalytic ideas.

As many of you know, our format does not include the reading aloud of papers, as at a typical conference. Instead, we adopt a seminar or workshop format.  Panel or workshop proposals include a one or more core readings that are circulated several weeks in advance, so attendees will have already read the papers by the time the conference opens. Presenters usually begin by making a few remarks about the panel theme and/or readings for around 10 or 15 minutes, followed by a very participatory discussion.

Your proposal abstract should be brief (~150-300 words total), and include the following:

1) A selected “influential” text that you would like the group to discuss (totalling no more than 30 pages; we’re basing each session on engaged discussion, so we want to ensure that everyone in attendance will have time to read the texts).  Please include page count for text.

2) Names, emails, and affiliations of the session convenors (one or two per session);

3) Summary of the proposed session (~150-300 words) indicating why you chose this text and addressing the issues highlighted in the call, including:

  • Interdisciplinary engagement—The potential purview of the paper is not confined to a single discipline alone;
  • Psychoanalytic Emphasis—Some aspect of the paper must be clearly psychological and/or psychodynamic, with either direct or indirect psychoanalytic relevance;
  • Timelessness—The paper has qualities that transcend the time, place, and intellectual milieu of its initial creation, lending itself to rereading and reevaluation in light of current theoretical, clinical, and social concerns;
  • Theoretical and Clinical Relevance—We encourage sessions with relevance for theoretical and integration. As always, we want to think about how psychoanalytic thought—as a form of clinical thinking and clinical theorizing—informs both our practice and our theories.
  • Promotion of Thoughtful Discussion—What aspects of this paper do you think will lend themselves to an engaged and wide-ranging group discussion process? Will it be accessible to members who aren’t familiar with the broader intellectual context in which it was written?  What core idea or contributions would you like to draw out for group discussion?

The deadline for session proposals is 1 April 2019.  Submit as Word or PDF file to

Any questions should be directed to the program committee at this same email.

The Conference Committee will review these proposals with an eye toward creating a balanced and diverse selection of sessions for the weekend.  We plan to notify the convenors of our decision within approximately two weeks of submission.  At that point, convenors who will be facilitating sessions will be asked to submit PDF versions of your chosen readings, which will be posted for download on the UCNCPIPC website prior to the conference.

Thank you, and we will see each other soon!

—The 2019 UC/NCP IPC Program Committee


If you plan to attend but have not yet registered, please do so soon!  Complete registration information can be found here.  We need registration funds to pay for the various expenses associated with the weekend, and many of those are coming due right now!  If you register by March 1, we will waive the registration fee (saving you $75!), so please register now. It saves you money and helps us plan and organize the weekend.